She insists on showers now. No more baths. "And go away", she tells me, so she can have her "pibacy". I come back a minute later with the towel and stop at the door. I hear her yelling, "Nothing can stop me! I'm Ladybug Girl!"
I come in, catch her making superpower muscles. She smiles sheepish and says "two more minutes." I say no, but she can turn the water off by herself. And she does. With her hands, she twists the knob. And with her words she announces, "I use my maggot (magic) powers to turn opf da chower!"
She grins and drips. She is my three year old, now closer to four.
He makes friends on the monkey bars. Tag and hide-n-seek ensue. "Guys! Guys! C'mon guys--THIS way!" He half pleads, half instructs. Then arms pump and legs kick, and he's halfway to the twisty slide before you can say kindergarten. He runs fast and falls hard, bleeds and bruises, and springs up (before I can say antiseptic). He keeps running. "The game wasn't over," he tells me later. "Did you and Daddy think I was so brave, to keep going when I fell down?"
Yes, Buddy, yes. So so brave. How is it that he has already learned to do as his Daddy does, to keep going after he falls down, to stay in the game even when it hurts? He is my five year old, now weeks from six.
There are no diapers in my bag, no special spoons in my drawer. No sippy cups or pacifiers or four-piece puzzles lurking under my couch. Their legs grow. Their steps stretch further away. And I don't follow or hover (at least not as much as before). Because they are old enough to know to run back, to call out when they need me. And I am old enough to know what a privilege it is to be here when they call, to be found, the mother of a girl closer to four and of a boy almost six.