Ghosts of Easters Past

5 Apr

Our daughter spent spring break visiting her grandparents. As the week rolled by, in between the quiet, lazy mornings with my husband, whole afternoons spent riding bikes together (quickly banish the image of baskets and tinkling bells on the front of our bikes-we ride for cadence and distance, with funny looking helmets, seats that make giving birth seem comfortable and clip-in shoes that, for people like me, should require a license) and meandering walks through Whole Foods, figuring out what we wanted to make for dinner, I realized something.

When she goes to college in a few years, we’re going to be fabulously happy.  I guess this wasn’t such a surprise, but it has been awhile since we have been alone, at home, for so long.  Let me tell you, we were livin’ like rock stars.

I can almost feel my daughter’s disapproval as I’m typing right now, as if she were standing behind me, her snicker and tilted head conveying how truly amazing it is that I manage to get through the day at all.  “Livin’ like rock stars? No one says that anymore, mom.”

Did I mention before how quiet it was all week?  How long until college again?

We were all home together yesterday, when it suddenly occurred to me: it’s Easter.  For the first time there was no decorating, no baskets, no egg hunt.  I had slipped her some iTunes cash in a very stylish card (no bunnies) before her trip, but other than that, Easter could have passed by and she wouldn’t have cared. She’s too old for any of that. Just ask her, she’ll tell you.

I sat on the couch, listening to the pounding bass coming from upstairs as she did her homework (how the heck can she even concentrate?) and had a moment. My throat tightened and my heart started to race. I couldn’t believe how much time, how many years, had flown by.

Slow down! I wanted to shout, though no one would’ve even heard me over the millionth rendition of “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” floating down the stairs.

What happened to the pretty pink and purple baskets, full of sparkly sandals and cute new flowery outfits for Spring?  Where was the little girl who ran head-on, fearlessly, through hoards of kids, her long blonde braids flying through the chilly air as she snatched up as many eggs and treasures as she could find?

She was listening to music at ear-splitting levels upstairs, doing her homework, still just as fearless as ever.

That night, as the chatter and chaos that somehow always surrounds my vibrant daughter finally quieted and she was crashed in her bed, sleeping as only a growing teenager can, I crawled in beside her like I used to when she was little and wrapped my arms around her, around this sparkling, shiny human being that I gave birth to so many years ago.  I held her and took a deep breath.  How long until college again? I smiled.  The last time I checked, we still had a few more years.


2 Responses to “Ghosts of Easters Past”

  1. Erin April 7, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    I’m 27 years old, and I actually shrieked with excitement and pranced in front of the mailbox like pony when I discovered that my grandma had sent me an Easter basket last weekend. Just sayin’.

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