I turned my head for just a minute. That was all.
I was momentarily distracted by finishing that pile of laundry, starting supper, helping your older sister with her math. I’m sure it didn’t take long.
But by the time I turned back to you, something had changed. You were still your happy, exuberant self, often lost in pretend play, and piling your bed high with stuffed animals.
Yet there were subtle differences, things that made you seem older, like you were daring to shed the skin of childhood and ease ever so slowly into the first stages of growing up.
I guess I didn’t tell you it’s not time. Your older sister’s already started down that road and I can’t have you go there just yet. I need you to still be the little girl with no concerns other than which doll to take along to the grocery store.
You’re the baby, and while I know you’ll have to grow up someday, I’m not ready for it to happen just yet.
I’ve learned my lesson. I’ll keep you in focus, not letting my attention fall off you for even a moment. Sheer force of will might keep you from growing up on me. I’ll not let you venture further from your childhood.
Ah, well, I have the best of intentions. Yet something tells me you’ll be doing it anyway.