This morning my daughter was brushing her teeth, which in and of itself is not significant. Déla is six years old, in first grade, and doing great in school. We have our problems, as any parent does with a child, but in general I have a pretty good relationship with my daughter.
So there she is, in the kitchen (don’t ask) brushing her teeth. I don’t know what it was, if it was the way she stood, the light, or maybe even the way in which she held her toothbrush. Whatever it was, her profile changed, and I saw my six year old daughter not as who she was, but as a future version. Time seemed to flash forward 10 years, and there she was, a 16 year old girl getting ready for her day.
The day ahead was full of promise for this teenage girl, high school classes, driving lessons, boys. Ohdeargodtheboys. This future version of my daughter was obviously more than capable of handling whatever tasks were placed in front of her. There she was before me, a young woman, getting ready for her day.
And just like that, it was gone. Thankfully my 6 year old daughter returned. This vision, this future flash, lasted only a brief moment. I wasn’t ready for her to be 16. Time goes far too quickly as it is. Just the other day she was a toddler running around the kitchen, chasing after her brother who was in preschool. Now she is already in first grade. The years go by so quickly.
I wanted to grab hold of her, bring her in close, as if that would delay her progression through life. By holding on to her tightly, so my time-travelling brain thought, she would stay this age, if only for a while longer, allowing me to appreciate it.
She finished brushing her teeth, got ready for school, and completed her day as a six year old. At least, as far as I know. She was right in front of me, and I missed her before she was out the door for school, and long before the will take her first driving lesson or attend her first school dance.