Last night, my daughter picked up a magazine, got in bed next to me, and started reading. I put down my own magazine and watched her. Here was my baby, with legs crossed and ankles twirling, reading an article about birds.
When did she get so big?
The past 11 months have been a blur. Working a new person into our family has been an all-consuming whirlwind, made especially challenging by the fact that said new person's super power is the ability to cry for two hours straight.
No doubt, there have been times when Mini Me has felt a little neglected. I can think of several moments when I have been covered in spit-up, poo, tears, or a combination thereof, and I delivered this response to my questioning eldest:
"Not now. Maybe later."
Most times, my big girl seemed to take it in stride. Other times, though, she did or asked for something that she knew would grab my undivided attention. Like the time she said she was considering a return to thumb sucking. (I replied than anyone who could rationalize thumb sucking did not need to practice it, and then I prayed that she would agree. Thank goodness she did.)
I've been kicking myself for not spending more one-on-one time with her, so when she asked if she could stay up a few minutes and read with me, I quickly agreed. It started as five minutes, but morphed into 15 as we discussed birds and butterfly gardens. We also talked about camp and her upcoming trip to Arkansas with her grandmother.
It was the best discussion I've had with her in a long time. I saw how much Mini Me has matured in the past year. She's funny, smart, extremely tenderhearted, and WAY to grown up to be eight. But I'm sure that's just the mom in me talking.
Of all the things I've tried to invest five minutes in, this is by far the most important.