Too many mental tabs open today.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Me and my shadow

As soon as K learned how to walk she was like my little shadow. She would follow me around the house while I cleaned, sat on the floor in the kitchen while I cooked and she hung out in the bathroom while I showered. She would watch me get ready and demand that I put make up on her and dry her hair. It was so cute. When she was a little bigger she would push a little cart around the supermarket, it was just like mama's.

Most of that stopped around preschool, she was too cool for me at that point. Except for the supermarket, she always wanted that little cart. If I tried to fix her hair she would yell, if I asked her to "help" in the kitchen she wanted to do it herself. One time we were making mac and cheese and she insisted that she knew what to do, I watched over pretty carefully and she still got hurt, she didn't want to be like me anymore, she wanted to do everything her way. I did what I could to support her and keep her safe.

She started dressing in her own style, not wearing what I picked out for her, she wouldn't eat the food that I made for her and she wouldn't play with whatever it was that I brought for her when we were out. This was extremely annoying but pretty much on track with what my friend's kids were doing. I missed my shadow but I was happy that K was finding her own place in life and testing the water in the ocean of new experiences.

Lately I've noticed that my little shadow is back and she's being so subtle about it. I try not to show my delight, I know how elusive these tiny shadows can be, I don't want to do anything to make it retreat again. I notice when she's home with me she lingers in the bathroom while I get ready. She wants me to make her a bang like the ones I just cut into my own hair. She has developed a fondness for black (my wardrobe staple) and asks me what I'm wearing before heading to her closet to choose an outfit. She asks what I want to eat before telling me what she wants. She now likes to drink out of a metal water bottle just like I do and talks about the evil of sugar (while she's shoving it into her mouth, but I'll take it!)

Today we went and got our nails done, she picked out my color, like always, but this time she wanted me to pick out her colors, she said she wanted me to pick out grown up colors. How sweet. I was done before her and sat at the drying lamp while she was finishing. She was pretty much done but wanted to sit under the lamp like me. We discussed our lunch options, for the first time ever she wanted pizza, I told her that I would love nothing more than to break my usual no bread rule for her but it's Passover and I can't. She was bummed and I promised to take her to our favorite New York style pizza place next week. Then she did the unthinkable, she asked me what I wanted to do. I wanted to go home and make food for us, it was getting cold and she wasn't really dressed warm enough. She agreed and said that she wanted matzoh and cheese, I was deliriously happy. We went home and had some lunch, I could tell she was as tired as I was so I suggested we retire to my room and snuggle while watching Barefoot Contessa (another new favorite of ours). I knew that we'd both be asleep before the first commercial. I woke up first and saw her beautiful sleeping face right next to mine, she sleeps in the exact same position I do, seeing this made me smile and that's when she woke up. She opened her eyes and gave me the biggest smile I think I have ever seen, she took her arm and threw it over me and gave me a kiss. I didn't want to move, I didn't want this moment to end. Then we switched roles, K was supposed to be at J's house for a sleepover and we both knew it. Usually it's K who bolts up to get there as quick as possible and me who wants to keep her home. I told her we needed to start moving, A and J were waiting for her, she held me close and said she wanted to stay with me for a while.

It was one of the sweetest afternoons I probably ever had with her. We put K's stuff in a bag without fighting over the outfit, I threw a movie and her Nintendo DS in the bag and she thanked me. We held hands while walking to the car and talked about the fun stuff that she was going to do with J. When we got to A's house we both stood outside the door for a minute, somehow we knew what was about to happen and and when A answered K took off and ran inside, leaving her shadow in the hallway with me. I stayed for a bit and chatted with A, before I left I made K come out and say goodbye, she wasn't overly gushy like she was earlier but after she kissed me she gave me her secret smile letting me know that she too, enjoyed the day we had together.

I've already gotten a few texts from A telling me all about the things flying out of K's mouth, she is just like me sometimes! I know that she's going to have a great time. D and I will have a much needed night to ourselves and I will do my best not to miss my shadow too much.

She has a huge day tomorrow, a callback and two auditions, all well spaced and none of them close to each other. It's cool, the traffic won't be bad and the most important one is first. The thing that makes me happy is that I actually have an excuse to collect her early. She will put up a fight I'm sure and as soon as we're in the car she can go back to her role as shadow. At least I hope. Either way I'll have my little girl back with me.

I don't like being away from her and I don't care who knows it.

I need my shadow, we all do.


  1. I really related to this topic as I see my child grow up and leave behind some of the sweet habits and behavior that on the rare occasion return for a brief visit. I cherish the return of the shadow. It is so indulgent and the best treat to be able to have my little guy fall asleep and take a nap on me. He's like a warm blanket and I savor the time, smile to myself as I hear his quiet breathing as his arms hug me for love, security and comfort. I know these moments are fleeting but I'll take them when I can.

  2. A beautiful day in the life story. Thank you for sharing