Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A time for change

    Our annual summer pets are here!  Every summer, for the past three years or so, my older son has gone out and caught tadpoles.  He had a helper this year and between the two of them, my boys have captured 10 little polywogs.  Now, with eager anticipation we all await the arrival of full-fledged frog-hood.  What an amazing transformation these little guys will go through- right before our eyes.  They start out as very round swimmers, speedily darting around in our big plastic bucket with their tails flapping wildly behind them.  Within mere days they grow their legs, lose their tails and, if we are not quick enough, hop right out of the bucket and take off to face the dangers of our big backyard.   If we are on the ball and observing closely enough, we will grab them as soon as they grow their back legs and take them to a nearby park with a nice pond, full of froggy friends, and set them free in safety.
    This little view of nature at work reminds me a lot of the journey we have taken this year of watching our own little polywog, our beautiful baby girl born in August, transform before our very eyes.   She, too, started quite round, with very chubby cheeks, anyway.  She, too, has changed remarkably, not, though it sort of feels like it, in days but months.  She started out so small, so helpless, so sweet and innocent.  Now she is so busy, so big, and always finding trouble.  She has a strange obsession with her sibling’s flip flops, and loves to get her little hands on them, immediately trying to get them into her mouth after wards- yuck!  She loves library books almost as much, also trying to eat them when she gets the chance.  She gets into my cupboards dumping Tupperware and pots and pans all over the kitchen.  As soon as we clean it up she’s at it again so that we have all become accustomed to stepping carefully around the mess whenever we venture to the fridge for a drink.  She, much to her brothers and sisters' annoyance, presses the buttons on the DVD player and climbs over them as they lay on the floor when trying to watch movies.  And yesterday, when we were having a lovely picnic at the park with our friends, she stuck her chubby little hand into the vegetable dip bowl, grabbed a big handful of the soft, mushy dip, and-of course shoved it into her mouth the minute I looked away in an attempt to have an adult conversation.
    I think, too, of my older daughter who at 11 ½ is on the verge of a transformation herself.  My very first baby who just a few years ago it seems was at the stage of her baby sister, tentatively taking her first steps.  It feels like just last week, that she was, like her little brother, about to start kindergarten excited at the prospect of learning to read all by herself.   I cannot believe that the tall, lanky pre-teen who rolls her eyes in disgust at her little brother and sister’s silly pretending games is the same child who used to hold birthday parties every afternoon for “Slidey and Melina” the imaginary friends who were such a part of our lives back when she was into pretending.   She is now taller than my mother and her feet are almost as big as mine.  We used to talk about her Fisher Price Little People, now we discuss shopping trips to the thrift shop to buy her more clothes, because she is bored with all her current fashion choices.  She has already changed so dramatically, I am not sure I am at all ready for what is too come…very soon.
    I am all too aware of my own aging process, as well.  My hair, once full of thick, black, curly tresses is now being crowded out by wiry, gray strays that stick out in the oddest ways.  I noticed a few fine lines developing around my mouth and near my eyes and my skin is no longer clear and youthful.  How can that be me, looking back in the mirror?  I don’t feel nearly as middle aged as I am starting to look.
    Just as our newly acquired tadpoles are rapidly working to become frogs, my baby is turning into a toddler.  My little girl is almost a young lady and I am starting to look more and more like my grandmother everyday.  Change in life is so unavoidable, so inevitable, and sometimes, so hard to take.  But, like the little frogs, who whether they like it or not will have to give up their happy, aquatic life of swimming for a hoppy life on land, we must accept that life is always moving forward.  So, though I will undoubtedly mourn the passing of my children’s childhoods, I am also anxious to see the people they will become as they grow and change.  No matter what happens, the transformation is sure to be amazing.  And, as their mother, I will be sure to be vigilant enough to see them safely through their journey into the world outside our home.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...