It's Christmas eve & I have wrapped all my worries & insecurities in a pretty package with a big bow of attitude adjustment tied around it & left it outside by the trash!
Last night Caitlin was in rare form, dancing & joking, wrestling with me before the fire, butting me in the stomach with her head , saying"I'm tryin' to get back in!" She left the room & came back in a long black Halloween costume with a hood, intoning that she was "the Ghost of Christmas Past" and regaling us with funny stories she remembers about Christmas, like the time the tree wouldn't stand up straight & Tom drilled a hole in the wasll & tied dental floss to it, or the time I was trying to put together a see-saw and screwed it into the kitchen floor, or the time a trampoline was supposed to be delivered at midnight & when they showed up at 3 AM , I asked them if they had trouble finding the house & the terrified delivery men said"no mam, It was the only one that had a woman standing out in the middle of the road cursing & screaming in front of it" None of these happenings were in her concious memory, just stories she has heard us share, back pages of family folklore.
If you are the parent of a little girl , you know they don't grow up gradually. One day they turn around and look at you & by the time they turn back around, you know that the little girl will only be caught in sidelong glimpses from now on.
It happened last night. Caitlin has always been a fairy dancer, unselfconciously throwing herself to the winds. Last Christmas we went to a program & she collected a crowd around her who thought she was part of the entertainment as she twirled, unaware.Last night as she danced it was different, She looked in the mirror & their were gestures of a woman in her innocence. Her older sister & I smiled through tears, cherishing our baby, welcoming our young woman. We spared her daddy, let him believe while he can. God Help Us , everyone