Now if that's not a catchy title for a post, I don't know what is.
My beautiful daughter is sitting at the piano playing Primary songs. At the moment, "I Am a Child of God." She is wearing her new flowy, flowery dress that we got on sale at Dillards for $25 yesterday while we were shopping for homecoming dresses.
"WHOA!" you say.
"HOLD THE PHONE!"
"Did you say homecoming dresses?"
Why yes, yes I did. And it was TOTALLY fun yesterday, and we had a blast. She came out of the dressing room skipping and spinning and acting like...well, like a sixteen year-old girl shopping for homecoming dresses. And we had so much fun together, and she had to drive because I can't drive right now due to the five pounds of attractive black metal and velcro and not-puffy-enough padding I am sporting on my right leg. Still.
Anyway, today she is beautiful. Inside and out. And she's going to her first big dance. And she's my little girl who sat in her Fisher Price wagon and pulled each book off her bookshelf one at a time and read them. And had her blanky that she named "Hucky," whom she loved until he fell apart into thin shreds, and whom she still has tucked into a ziploc bag in her box of treasures. And who held my hand while we walked to Kindergarten together, and who held my hand today while she helped me out to the car.
I am thrilled with the beautiful and confident young woman that she is. I kinda miss the rough and tumble little girl she used to be.
And today we went to a missionary farewell, and it made me miss my missionary. He's out there serving, and I'm packing up a birthday package, because he'll be 20 next week. (There are tears on my keyboard...will that ruin it??) I can't EVEN begin to describe how happy I am that he is on a mission, and how much joy I feel when I see pictures of him out to lunch with all the widows in his branch, or fixing an investigator's broken weed whacker, or standing by a beaming brother in white. But in my heart, I miss the little tow-headed boy with his plastic tool belt, laying on the bathroom floor next to Dad while they fixed the leaky toilet. Or the five year-old with his brand new bike. Or the tender big brother pushing his new baby sister around in the plastic wheel barrow.
I am so proud of him. I miss him so much. And when did the twenty years go by?
Wade is almost twelve. He came downstairs this morning, quite frustrated because he couldn't tie his own tie. Dennis has been teaching him the past several weeks, but it hasn't clicked yet. Wade got on the internet and found a tie tying tutorial, printed it out, stomped back upstairs, went in his room, and slammed the door. Hormones? Yeah. Determination? Yeah.
Where is that round-headed baby with the chubby fists that were constantly clenched in excitement? Where is the three year-old who used to lay on the kitchen floor and cuddle with the 80 pound dog? The little streaker who would dash to the back yard the minute he got out of the tub and shriek until he was apprehended, the boy who needed me to lay on his bedroom floor until he fell asleep at night? He's grown and gone, replaced by a boy who has grown six inches in the past year, and is quickly becoming a handsome young man.
And my baby. Oh, my baby. I grabbed him during church today and forced him to sit on my lap so I could kiss him and love him, because I knew that it would only be a brief moment before he would be standing at the pulpit, giving his missionary farewell. My little monkey who loves rubber boots and all things cowboy, who still gets in bed with me because he wants to cuddle, and who stuffs his pockets with Legos before church each week.
How can I bear to watch them grow and fly? How can I not? The joy is exquisite. The heartache is, too.
It's a nostalgic, melancholy Sunday evening, and I need some tissues.
18 hours ago