Don’t grow up so fast

ponytails

I brush your hair back and efficiently pin it so your hair will remain dry as you shower. You turn back and the face that stares at me looks almost grown up. For a moment I get a glimpse of how you will look like at the threshold of womanhood.

The next half hour passes in a blur. I am aware of silly conversations and a whole lot of giggles but my head is still trying to process the face that looked back at me a while back. I help you both with your PJ’s and slide the hair band off your silky hair. As if the act of undoing the ponytail will remove the fear that has taken hold.

“Mama, can I please have a ponytail?” your voice pipes up.

I sigh and brush your golden hair till it glows and pull it back into a single pony at the back. You run, skip and jump off. While I wait for Ammu to get be ready, I slip into the darkness of the bedroom and watch you preen in front of the mirror in the closet. The overhead lamp almost feels like a spotlight on you. You have a hand on your hip and look at yourself critically in the mirror. You tuck away a strand of falling hair behind your ear. Your freshly scrubbed face looks incandescent. You appear to be pleased by what you see and you burst back into the bathroom calling “Daddy, see my pony. I look beautiful.”

I repeat the process with Ammu and watch again as the two of you preen in front of the mirror. I can predict the next few minutes and I watch with a smile on my face. The next hour rushes past in dinner time rituals and I turn my attention to more pressing matters at hand. As I lift my back after loading dishes into the washer, I notice the two of you waiting to hug me good night. I gather the two of you and plant kisses on your forehead.

“Don’t grow up too fast” I mutter as I let you go.

You bound off into the semi dark stairs, your dad behind you.

I walk around the living room, my brows furrowed in thought. Where did the years go? When did my chubby toddlers morph into proper girls? How did I not notice the changes? I hold on to the lingering vestiges of childhood while you are happy to grow and grow up fast.

Wise words echo in my ears – Hold them tight for the years fly by too fast.

8 comments

  1. Well similar thoughts going in my mind. A saying Amma see I am getting a moustache ( of course he is not 🙂 ). He will be 9 this Friday! He will soon be a man… I sometimes do want him to grow up soon; see better times. After all I am told as time passes, things will be better. He already is mature beyond his age many times. Sometimes I wish he stays a child, enjoys it like other kids normally do! Either way, it will be
    what it is. Que sera sera!!

    • I hear ya. Ammu and Pattu were going on and on yesterday about how girls marry boys and am thinking you have enough of this in 10 yrs time why now? 🙂 They do grow too fast.

  2. Written beautifully, as always.

    Each phase comes with it’s share of beauty, and I have come to realize that you have to let go of one phase so you can see and enjoy the beauty in the next. Also, this mixture of innocence and growing up melts my heart like no other – one moment they are all grown up having a mind of their own and the next moment they come crying to you with their vulnerabilities;- as if telling you – yes I am growing, but I am still your little child. I see that with Hari all the time.and I soak in those small moments.

  3. Actually girls are wonderful as they grow. My ten year old is my best friend now – I can tell her anything and she is a lovely companion to me. If course, she still needs that nightly hug – very endearing. Enjoy every minute.

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