We lived August hard. Wore it right down to the nub. Twisted and wrung and stretched out the last bits and slurped them right down. As RR likes to say, nuhfing for you mama, nuhfing for you.
Speaking of what RR has to say, summer camp delivered one outstanding thing to us. Yes, we delivered a child who could use the potty, and got back one who couldn’t, but in exchange for basic toilet competence, we got a child who can say her Ls. Thank you, Liz, for apparently being very committed to having your name said correctly. Ls. I don’t even miss I yuv you, mama. Well, maybe a little.
Not only does she have Ls, but she also has a new, sweet, tolerant, way of correcting us. Constantly. Mama, did you fought I wanted the window open? We, of course, did. Did you fought I wanted to have you pull my hair when you put it in the ponytail? I didn’t. Did you fought I didn’t want the last cookie? I DID. She says it so gently that you can almost forget she is contradicting the very thing she said the moment before.
We didn’t get married. Even though we really thought there was a chance we could. Yes, we understand the Supreme Court’s decision was a forgone conclusion but, if that was the case, it was all the more heartbreaking that they waited til almost the last minute to decide. I have a lot of feeeelings about this but dragging them out has proven harder than expected.
We dug in the sand, swam in the ocean, and hopped waves holding hands. Whether it was the sun or the salt air, we brought back a child at least a foot taller. We also brought back a child who consistently used the potty, at least to pee. When I dropped her off for her first day at school I wasn’t thinking, oh how cute, oh how big she is, oh my little baby is all grown up (well, mostly not) I was thinking, so help me god if my child has an accident on your watch I will…well, I don’t know what. But SOMETHING.
I have a lot of feelings about potty training AT FOUR, too, but apparently they are lodged right in that place where you can’t speak for fear you’ll choke. The teacher tells us she can multiply. And while I swallow it, I want to say: can you work less on math and more on poop?
But she is back at school AND peeing in the potty, but not without prompting, and not with a promise of doing it again the next time, but we take what we can get. And she IS so grown up. And so tall. And suddenly her little-girlness is so much…less.
Four years of first day of school pictures and next year she’ll have cleared the railing. She’ll be on top of it, too. She is brilliantly daring and enthusiastic and oblivious to heights (but don’t you dare help her down).
There’s more stuck behind the feelings. How somehow I feel like we’re shooting down a steel chute with nothing to catch hold of, just the chance of locking our nails on the rivets. She’s having a hell of a ride though.