As a parent of a 'tween, I hear and read about those moments that stand out in a parent's mind where you consciously see your kids hit a milestone of growing up. So I watch for them with baited breath and a camera to collect the memory, afraid that one moment is going to slip past me unnoticed. Sometimes they do, I'm sure of it, but other times stand out in my mind and heart, breaking it in little pieces, or at the very least fracturing it.
I remember the first time I kissed a boo-boo and the Girl said "it's not better", breaking my heart.
I remember the first time she didn't want me to hold her hand at school as we walked in, afraid that a friend would see and she would die of embarassment, breaking my heart.
I remember the day she reached for my hand walking into the same school she refused to let me walk her into the year before on the very first day of 3rd grade, breaking my heart in an altogether different way.
And today, my friends, it was broken again. As I pulled into the driveway, I saw for the first time, my baby girl--not so much a baby anymore--standing in the driveway with 3 friends, chatting as only childhood innocence allows. They saw my need to pull into the driveway as an assault on their privacy, I'm sure; they moved to the playground across from our driveway. The very same playground Beast and I have witnessed countless tweens and teens hanging out on, wiling away the last lazy days of summer, knowing full well the day would come when it would be the Girl out there. And now our tween is one of those kids just hanging out. And as my eyes brimmed with mommy-tears and I turned my head so as not to embarass her, she offered me a tiny reward for all those broken hearts...she waved. Just slight enough for me to see the gesture she offered to only me and the twinkle in her eye accompanying her beautiful smile. She is growing up and there is nothing I can do about it...not that I would want to. But it breaks my heart each time I experience one of these moments.
I am amazed by the amount of times my heart can break, healing itself just in time for the next chance to come along.
It breaks every time I glimpse a moment when I realize we have sped past a milestone of life which I will never be able to reclaim; a moment to cherish for so many reasons.
And I continue to look forward to them.
P.S. I did not embarass her by breaking out the camera from the top floor window, as I so wanted to do. That should earn me at least one less broken heart since my mind is the only place I will be able to hold this milestone memory.