Ready for Summer

She has less than a week of school left and she is already talking about what she aims to accomplish in third grade. She is doing so much better in her studies. For the first time in years she is able to recall the lyrics to songs and recognize letter forms. She wants to read so badly, and she works at it every day. When she doesn’t speak of school and reading she waxes on about going to Paris, which we plan to do in 2009. She idles over unpleasantries, like getting accessed each Monday for chemo and doing physical therapy. Instead, she saves her energy to run through the sprinklers, or have a story read to her, or visit with friends. In short, she focuses on being a kid – exactly as we want her to.
Yesterday she came to me filled with a melancholy expression. When I asked her what was wrong she said, “it’s happening so fast.”
“I’m growing up.”
“We all grow up, honey. That’s nothing to make you sad.”
“I like being a kid.”
“You’re still a kid. And you’ll be a kid for awhile.”
She thought about it for a few minutes, running her finger up and down her arm as she gazed off to an unfixed place. Then she looked at me with those cool blue eyes.
“No matter what, I’ll always be your baby.”
“Yes, you will.”