There are these moments, when I glance up from my work, distracted. I give a tap to the tied sneaker, and lift my head to catch my eldest zipping the baby's coat. I turn the corner, arms full with laundry, and the moment is almost over, but not yet. The table is cluttered with paper, and they're writing letters to me. I love yous and XOXOs. How is it that I've been given that chance? To be the one to make the difference? To bear witness to their growth?
We snowshoed through the woods today, as a family. Gen on my back, Eva led the way. Richard was behind with Maddie & Graedy, he in charge of yanking the boy back to his feet by his snow jacket. As the house came back into sight, Eva sped ahead.
I entered the back door with lunch prep on my mind. Tuna pitas, salad, chips...but there was half a loaf of peanut butter toast, and eggs frying in the pan. Eva, so proud, so grown up, making lunch. I worried. Was I wrong to teach her to use the stove? I wavered between heart attack and filled heart, and settled on the latter. She was careful. She was wise.
I kissed her and thanked her for the wonderful meal. We ate it, and praised her cooking. I couldn't help but bring up safety and perhaps, next time, asking permission to use the stove. Mostly, though, I marveled at my girl who, by leaps and bounds, will not be a girl much longer.
They are growing. I am watching, my apron strings lengthening every day.