Girlhood. Momhood. Lifehood.
Insights on navigating the craziness of life with young kids one — “large coffee with skim please” — day at a time.

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April 21st, 2008

The other night I was walking down the hallway to the kids’ bathroom, ready to supervise my son’s nightly teeth-brushing session to ensure that 1) he actually brushed his teeth instead of just gnawing on the brush like a new puppy on a bone and 2) that he spit directly into the sink instead of on the wall/floor/himself and 3) that when he wiped his mouth he didn’t drop the towel on the floor for the 237th time.

As I turned through the doorway of the bathroom though, he said something that stopped me in my tracks.

“Mom! I don’t have to use the step stool to reach the sink anymore! Look!”

Sure enough, he was reaching forward on his tippy toes, just able to grab the faucet handle. His eyes were wide with excitement as he stretched forward and bounced up and down on his toes. I marked the date in my head. He’s 5 years, 1 month old. All of the sudden, he looked incredibly tall.

At that moment, I was remembering the first time I let him get the newspaper by himself. It was a warm summer night when he was 2 1/2. As I sat watching from the front stoop, he took off up the driveway, his stocky little legs in just a diaper. When he bent and grabbed the paper, he promptly dropped it because of the slippery bag around it. But then he scooped it up again and wrapped his little arms around it and squeezed it tight to his chest. He held it so tightly he had to waddle back down the walkway. The image of him holding that big paper, in his diaper, with a look of total determination on his face…I’ll never forget it.

This is another one of those moments.

He’s just standing at the sink in the bathroom. But it’s a pause and a fast forward at the same time, and it’s equally joyful and terrifying. Because on a daily basis, the movie is not always easy, or exciting. So when you get a scene like that, you pause it as long as you can, even if only for a few seconds.

Because the one thing you can’t do is hit rewind.

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