My little girl is rushing toward double-digits. In less than 5 months we will celebrate her 8th birthday. As I write the word 8, a rush of emotions hit my gut. As the cliché often goes, how did this time move so fast? Sometimes she reminds me so much of young adult, but other times I am grateful at her innocence and the sheer abundance of not knowing too much about life or the world. There are still glimpses of innocence that capture and allow my heart to pause.
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The picture above captures her friendship with her little doll named Ruthie. She cares for Ruthie with a gentle touch that is sweet and endearing. In the morning, she feeds Ruthie breakfast, dresses her for school, and combs her hair. At night, she ensures that her little doll is propped on a pillow and tucks her in tight. She encourages Ruthie to say her prayers much like I remind my daughter every night before she goes to sleep. I am not certain how much longer this relationship between my daughter and Ruthie will last, but I certainly witnessing this innocence that only a child is able to fully appreciate.
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On the way home from school, my daughter and I often have little mini-conversations about minutiae. I ask her about what she learned at school and whether her day went well. She will tell me about a book they read or how she played kickball or climbed the monkey bars. Sometimes she asks questions about subjects that I am not anticipating.This week she probed the word adopt.
“Momma, I have a question for you.”
“Yes, what is your question?”
“Am I adopted? I think I am adopted because I do not remember being born.”
“Honey, momma had you in her belly. I promise that you came from me.”
“Ok, Momma. Sorry for asking the question. I just couldn’t remember being born.”
I later relayed this conversation to my husband and we both laughed and admired her innocence. She is learning about new concepts and trying to make some sense of them in her world. The authenticity of her question and her desire for confirmation made me pause. There is still that veil of innocence that gardens in her world.
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This week I learned that my daughter’s favorite cupcake shop called Sweet Tooth Fairy is moving to another location that is almost 40 minutes away from us. I broke the news to her. The disappointment registered on her face.
“What do you mean they are moving, Momma?”
“They are moving to a different city.”
“But Momma, I thought the Tooth Fairy ran the shop. Can’t she run both shops at the same time?”
This question took me off guard because it confirmed that she still hold on to that magical and mystical place of wonder where Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and Leprechauns inhabit a real place in her life. This glimpse made me smile and think about all these slices of innocence that still speckle her thinking.
This innocence will be lost. I know this, but she doesn’t.
Right now, I sink into these little glimpses of innocence.