Isabella is almost nine years old. She reminds me of this fact all the time; she has been planning her birthday party since her last birthday party. She is days away from finishing the third grade; she is almost a fourth grader. She’s BIG, according to her.
(And according to the clothing receipts I have piling up from all of the new shorts and shoes and dresses and bathing suits and pajamas that I keep having to buy for her.)
This is my baby, you guys. No longer a baby. BIG.
There’s thing thing that she does.
In movie theaters, in theater theaters, during performances, during shows, during recitals.
She always ends up on my lap.
Once, this weekend, it was because she was a wee bit scared of the alpha dragons in the screening of How To Train Your Dragon 2.
Once, this weekend, it was because she was too short to see over the edge of the stage in our front-row seats to her big sister’s end-of-year hip hop and acro Vibe recital.
In either case, while minding my own business—eating popcorn in one, taking photos in the other (no flash, of course)—a girl who is almost big suddenly feels like a girl who is small as she shimmies her way onto my lap.
I put my arms around her and let her relax into me. I rest my cheek against her fine hair and inhale the smell of the same Johnson’s no-more-tears shampoo she has used since infancy.
When she sits there, in my arms, allowing me to cuddle (and sniff) her, I realize that her legs are dangling off of me, her arms almost as long as mine, she is almost sitting at eye level.
These moments are going to be gone soon, and not just because of logistics.
She won’t need me for protection. She won’t need me for extra height.
After all, she’s almost nine years old.
She’s BIG, you guys.
I just wish it didn’t make me feel so small.