I find myself being stopped in my tracks lately. A lot. This happens everywhere: the dinner table, while driving the car, in the middle of the bedtime routine. I go through the motions of the day: chauffeuring, organizing, sweeping things up. Then it happens. I haven't even seen the wheels turning, but I hear Audrey explain something in a new way. She tells me how the things around her work, only as she can. And, I stop to listen, because this kind of teacher only comes around once. Here are the lessons from this week:
On Tuesday, while doing the most ordinary of things, she said, "Mama, I want you. I'm gonna miss you." I'm not sure where she thought I was going, but watching her change at a pace that seems lightening-quick, I think, Me, too, baby girl. Me too.
During breakfast-for-dinner Wednesday night, she took several bites out of her slice of turkey bacon, then studied the shape. "It's a key," she said, showing it to me. I could see it.
En route to swim lessons on Thursday, she told me, "You're a big woman. You can't take it off you. It's stuck on you." (I think she meant the woman part is stuck on me, not the big part. I could be wrong).
As Jason put Audrey to bed on Thursday night, he tucked her bear in, giving it a kiss. Audrey watched, then asked, "Can you kiss me, too?"
This morning I told Audrey we had to apply sunscreen before going out to weed the garden. She had found some plastic rings and put them on her arms as bracelets. I'm not sure what the sunscreen was in her mind, but as I rubbed it into her arms, she looked down at them and said, "I'm beautiful."
Everyday brings something new to amaze me. I'm awestruck by the amount of learning that happens in two-and-a-half short years - how many times one person can change in that time span. I keep moving the dangerous and breakable items to higher shelves and reassessing what seemingly-innocent objects can be transformed into step stools or balance beams or a toddler version of the "Wipeout" obstacle course. I forget how much knowledge can hide in the crevices of a still-changing brain until I hear a vocabulary word that hasn't popped up in a while, and I'm reminded, oh yeah, she already knows that one. But most of all, I'm amazed by how the most complex of ideas, when seen by the littlest eyes can be explained. So easily. And I can't help but think, if we were all just children, maybe the world would be a much simpler place.