Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Best of The Girl 7

Now that The Girl is an increasingly mature nine-and-a-half, I'm going over her greatest hits from the preschool years. One more day and then back to our regular schedule.

July 1, 2009

I have often written here about my four-year-old, and the responses have allowed me to meet many kindred spirits far beyond my circle here in County Kildare. A part of me looks forward to someday losing my day job, to spend time with her beyond a few hours a day, to post daily four-year-old stories for years to come. But she will not wait for me, and today she is five.

Of course a yearly marker does not change her. But time does, and too quickly for me to do anything but run behind it, calling for it to stop. Perhaps it is because I am in my thirties now, and my clock was set long ago – like most middle-aged people, I feel a year go by when two or three have passed. Perhaps it is because the world events that I study have accelerated in her few years, their harlequin abandon unsettling even those of us who try to prepare.

I only know that each moment flickers by like passing traffic out the window, too swift to observe as it happens, but only to remember dimly after it has gone. Part of me wants to live in a painting – Still Life with Four-Year-Old, a golden moment in amber. A part of me winces to see my toddler grow lanky and coltish, tapping newfound reservoirs of defiance and negotiation, her once-giant eyes occasionally rolling in the first fetal signs of adolescent ennui. I want to throw a hook into the blur and reel in the moments, pore over them, plead with each of them … stay. Please, don’t go. Linger.

But they won’t. She will be six soon enough, and ten, and fifteen, each age attended by its own moments of comfort and joy, its own arguments. I can try to be a good escort into her future and linger over the moments, knowing their blurred passage is all I will ever have. I cannot extend my life’s length, but you, my girl, allow me to extend its depth.

Thank you.

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