Thursday, April 17, 2008

“I found you.”

I woke up this morning, knowing that the younger teen had arrived during the night. I had been missing her smile and the sound of her cheerful voice. I went and found her, and when she woke up, I told her, "I missed you so much!" She put her glasses on (h'm, she doesn't usually wear glasses), and as she opened her arms and turned toward me I realized she didn't look the same.

And behold, it had been a dream.

Do you know what the worst part is? It made me realize how much I do miss her. (I'm crying now, just a little, as I type this.) It didn't help that the last night or two I was reading from Ortberg's When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box, pp. 102-103
You have this day. Mary Jean Irion wrote "Gift from a Hair Dryer," a mother's reflection as she combed her 7-year-old daughter's hair after a bath.
Comb and dry, comb and dry. Soon I won't be able to do this any more, you say to yourself ...

[She thinks about the future, when the girl is 14, 18, an adult, a grandmother, elderly....]

All the tears of the world swim for a second in your eyes as you snatch the plug out of the socket suddenly and gather her into your arms, burying your face in the warm hairs as if you could seal this moment against all time.
But of course, you can't. Moments race by, and the years fly past -- and we can't control them at all.
Don't I know it! It really was just the other day when our first baby came home on that day in 1989, and just a little while later our younger daughter was born.

Well, in a few weeks she really will be home. Then one last year of high school. And next fall both girls will be away at college.

And if you were wondering...

I miss the elder teen, too--very much so. But she's been gone before, and she's a "big girl" now. Whereas the younger girl -- well, she's still our baby and in the past she's still been here when her sister was gone.

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