“Put me in your hair,” says my baby, (who isn’t anymore, really.)
“What? Put you in my hair?”
“Put me in your hair, because I’m a flower!”
She proceeds to attempt to climb onto my head as I laugh and try to preserve my spine.
She’s spent the summer weaving dandelions into my hair and tucking them behind my ears. From time to time she tries to keep up with the ‘big kids,’ but generally she’s content to wander along her own path, inhabiting a hidden world of imagination.
And she still wants me to come along.
The others run off together to play games of their own invention, only interrupted sporadically by sibling squabbles. I love to see them grow and bond, and to hear the elaborate stories they create together. I enjoy regaining time to follow my own pursuits.
The time I’ve gained is bittersweet. They’re moving beyond me.
This one, the last, stands at the foot of the rocking chair as I begin the article I planned for today, and smiles sweetly. “Mommy, will you play with me?” (She uses perfect grammar, but always in that irresistible baby lisp.)
I hesitate, then sigh. There’s so little time…
Her eyes light up as if we hadn’t played together in weeks. (It’s been about fifteen minutes.) “Oh, thank you!”
The dandelions are all going to seed, and the summer is waning, and next year my baby might not want to put flowers in her hair and mine.
The article can wait.