human, being


A few little intimacies
April 4, 2009, 10:42 am
Filed under: Parenting & Co-Parenting | Tags: , , , ,

dsc_0606This weekend, Steve’s working on reinventing his new store from the mess he found it in, which means we won’t see much of him. To which Lauren and I say Girls Weekend!!

There’s something special about these hours we get to spent when it’s just us. Yes, we have a good time when everyone else is around, but the extra intimacy we are able to experience when it’s just us is special. Before Steve moved in, we’d have these times together, but she was younger, still a preschooler. Things are funner now. She’s almost 8. We can have conversations. We have more in common.

Last night, I picked her up from school to begin our week together. We stopped for dinner at Panera, did a quick tour of the New York & Co. dressing room (I was good and didn’t buy anything, but I have a coupon burning a hole in my pocket), and moseyed over to the Harkins Theaters in Northfield to watch Monsters vs. Aliens 3D. I’ve never seen a movie in 3D before, nor had she. It was cool, I tell you, even though the movie itself is just mediocre. We both kept reaching out to touch the words, the leafs, the meteors that zoomed out at us. The entire audience oohed and ahhed, and we joined the chorus. Her favorite thing: “I really liked all the cool clothes for Susan.” Yep, that’s my daughter. She’s going to be a fashionista.

In all the travel time, I listened to her near-constant monologue about the new group of girls she’s decided to hang out with at school. She jabbered on and on about a new game they’d concocted for recess time, involving the boys (mice), two hunters (a cat and a dog) and two magical fairies/mermaids who helped capture the boys/mice. They’d made a contraption out of empty juice boxes that allow them to lure the boy/mice in. They have pepper they sprinkle them with to make them sneeze and easier to capture. When they catch the mice, the guards and the catchers stew the mice and eat them.These girls have sick imaginations. Yet vivid and creative imaginations. I love listening to her go on and on about the details of these games.

This morning, her piano teacher canceled her lesson, and then I decided to skip the gym. It’s almost noon and we’re both still cuddling on the couch in our matching green fluffy bathrobes. She doesn’t necessarily like that I kiss her all the time when she’s this close, but she doesn’t move away either. We’ve eaten cereal. I’ve painted her nails–one of my favorite things to do with her. She claims not to be a “girly girl,” but she loves having her nails painted. She’s pretty good at doing her left hand and her toes. I still help her with her right hand.We’re talking about silly things, like how she wishes there were things called  Banapples, a combo of bananas and apples, so she could get the “good stuff” from apples without having to eat them and taste the good taste of bananas. She’s always thinking, this girl. Like mother, like daughter.

When The Incredibles is over (we’re watching it for about the 72nd time, but this is one movie I really love, thank god), she’ll take a shower and then I’ll blow dry her hair, another of my favorite rituals. She no longer needs me to help her get dressed or brush her teeth or help in the bathroom, but she still needs me with a few little intimacies.

Later, maybe we’ll go to my sister’s for a while, if she’s home. Or Lauren can help me add the final layer of poly to my dresser, or she can help me sand the second dresser. Or, we’ll color in our mandala coloring book, or I’ll read out loud from Island of the Blue Dolphins. She’ll eventually want to go find her friend Hannah, and I’ll do something very grown-up, like finally start working on my taxes before going out to see the Ballet Nouveau Colorado’s Dancemakers 2.0 production tonight. Sometimes I wonder if she feels abandoned by me when I go do my own thing, but then I stop guilt tripping myself and realize that I’m modeling the fact that it’s important to have your own life and interests outside of the family.

If Lauren were with me full-time, I’m sure that we’d have these hours and moments together. But there’s something about not seeing her all the time that makes days like today even more wonderful, more of a treasure to behold.

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