She raced across the basketball gym’s floor, easily outpacing all but one of her teammates this morning. As she reached the other end and spun around, I saw it. She’s grown. At some point in the past few weeks, she shot up, and I don’t know how much.
A single tear ran down my cheek as I turned to the mom next to me and croaked , “Oh my god…She’s grown. She’s had a growth spurt and I don’t know how tall she is any more.”
The woman next to me reached out, pulled me into an awkward side hug, and kissed my forehead. My cheek rested on her shoulder, and this woman I’d never met before held me as I cried.
People ask me all the time how I’m doing, and I always try to say something positive. Most of the time it’s the truth, and we really are adjusting well. Most of the time isn’t today. Today I can’t stop crying. I’m completely gutted.
This week it will be five months since the last time she stood. Seven months since she stood unaided. Somehow I never thought we’d get to this point. Somewhere deep inside, I expected something magical or miraculous to happen, and that she’d again be the girl she once was. I kept expecting to be able to pinch myself hard enough so that we could all wake up.
I waited until the children were in bed and then opened up the trunk in our room and pulled out her ballet slippers. I turned them in my hands and remembered the girl who wore them as she shakily danced for the very last time. I clutched them to my chest and cried for all we have lost.
I just need to wake up.
Please, can you do it? Can you pinch me? Can you please wake me up? When you do, can I wake to the sound of her footsteps on the stairs and trip over her muddy shoes by the door? Can she twirl across the living room and skate down the hallway in her socks? Can she stand beside me and wrap her arms around my waist? Can I rest my chin on top of her head as she leans in to me? Can she come and hug me so that I can know once again how tall she is?
I’m her mom.
It just seems like I should know how tall she is.