Digging through my desk yesterday afternoon, I stumbled across this. It’s a teeny little barrette of Lil Miss 20Prospect’s. I’ve always been a bit of a pack rat, squirreling away small shiny objects, but this one surprised me. I had forgotten all about it, but here it was like a memento from a time capsule. A little purple barrette that fell out of her hair one morning as I was dropping her off at daycare. She must have been 2 at the time. A ruddy cheeked toddler with wispy light brown hair, dressed in tennies, a sweatshirt and stretchy pants over her diaper. Heading off for another day of “school” at an unearthly hour. My “big” little girl.
To say I got a lump in my throat would be an understatement. Where have the years gone? I feel like Rip Van Winkle this morning waking up to a world that has left me behind. 12 years old and nearly as tall as I am, in her plaid skirt, pony tail and braces, heading off for another day of 6th grade intrigue. I want to grab her in my arms and say “Stop! Stop growing up on me. Stay here and be my little girl forever,” but I know how foolish that would be. There is so much excitement and wonder waiting just around the next corner. To stop now would be to miss so much. So instead I’ll smile a goofy smile as I kiss her goodbye, and she’ll see a little tear in her old man’s eyes, and wonder what that funny look on Dad’s face was as she turns and walks up the steps toward school, growing taller with each step.