Monday, February 11, 2013
Reaching for the moon
“Look, Mommy! The MOON!”
I listen to my happy toddler exclaiming excitedly from the back seat of the car.
“Let’s try to touch it,” she says.
“Okay,” I say. “You go first.”
I hear Anna grunting. I look in the rear view mirror and watch her flailing her arms, trying to “reach” the sky.
“Now your turn, Mommy!”
So I flail my arms about in a silly way and say in an exaggerated voice, “I can’t reach it!”
She laughs. I laugh with her.
I enjoy the simplicity of our conversation. How easy it is to make her smile. How excited she is by something as simple as the moon in the sky.
And I try to remind myself to remember this. To hold onto it tightly. I know moments like this won’t last forever.
Anna is a typical 3 year-old. She’s curious. Inquisitive. Loves to “search for clues” with anything from a toilet paper roll to the top of her see-through sippy cup. The way she looks at the world constantly amazes me. Her imagination makes me smile.
But she tests me. Oh my goodness, can she test me.
On another recent car trip, she was grouchy, had a temper tantrum and screamed the entire way home from Grandma and Grandpa’s house.
The biggest, brightest moon in the world wouldn’t have brought her back from where she was. And it was all I could do not to scream back at her.
So on nights like this, when she is excited by the universe and everything in it, I try hard to remember her. My true Anna.
I try to mentally catalogue every cute thing she says and every funny thing she does.
I want to tell her about it one day.
When she’s a teen, and is undoubtedly testing me again, I want her to know all about how much fun we had together. How I could be silly, too. How easy it was to enjoy each other’s company.
I want her to know about yesterday morning, when she jumped into bed to wake me up, then insisted we hide under the covers because she could hear a “jungle bear” coming into the room.
Or the time last week, when she danced around the kitchen and instructed me to say “Woo hoo!” each time she completed a little move.
I can’t avoid the moments when I feel tested and grouchy and exhausted by her moodiness. But I promise to both myself and to Anna to remember the fun, happy, easy times.
I glance at her in the rear view mirror again, a giant goofy grin plastered on my face.
It’s times like these I vow to remember.