Birthday #7: One Mother’s Oldness

Child says, “Seriously, mommy.” kind of a lot.

It sounds like an accusation.  Like, “How dare you doubt my perfect logic?  I am seven, and therefore infallible.”

 Seven.  Six plus one.  Five plus two.  Wasn’t she an infant mere months ago?  How is this possible?

Here’s Child over her cake.  I like seven.  I liked six.  Five was all right.  Before that, I did what needed doing, but I don’t really know how or what.  I think I’m the sort of mom who will enjoy her kid more with each passing year.  I have little use for the antics of the pre-pubescents.  I am interested in misery and suffering and awkwardness.

Neither misery nor suffering. Pure, toothless joy.

I also like life more with each passing year.  I do not feel old, especially, though I say I do.  I feel jaded and am lately nostalgic for my wide-eyed acceptance and eagerness toward the world around me.  Missing that feels like age, but I am energetic and healthy and only have a few gray hairs.  I am relieved by the way in which being experienced assuages self-consciousness.  I no longer feel the need to apologize for myself.  I no longer judge myself by others’ standards.

Child reminds me of inexperience.  She is so full of energy and hope.  She loves people and living.  She runs everywhere.  I want to put her in a padded box and protect her forever.

She did not notice the shitty astroturf or the teenaged litter or rained-on paint containers and brushes all over the mini golf course we found outside of Baltimore.  She thought the non-flush holes were funny indicators of the adults’ incompetence.  She was thrilled to have another chance at a freak hole-in-one, which she got.  I don’t think it’s freak.  I think I am the arty, uncoordinated mom of an athletic child.

Check it out, now.

It hardly seems possible that seven years have passed; when I try to think through all the specific events, it’s like looking at a blur of growth and conflict and joy. For both of us.

So I leave you with this cake picture which is funny because, like the Sprats, between us, Child and I can lick the platter clean.

Cake Skeleton: my birthday gift to Child


4 comments on “Birthday #7: One Mother’s Oldness

  1. Hah! That’s how I eat most cake! And my kid has been known to do that as well when it’s not my own homemade buttercream or ganache.

    Oh, and mine gives me the narrow-eyes with, “Really?” a lot. That’s probably our fault, though, since her dad and I tease her with fake science all the time (although we always ‘fess up right away). We’re proudly raising a skeptic. It’s healthy.

    • Skepticism is key to a healthy life, I think. :-)

      I’m glad I’m not the only one. I like to make ganache (way easier than it sounds, right?!), but have never made delicious buttercream.

      How old is yours?

  2. Enjoy these nice years. Puberty is coming. Heh. Heh.

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