Things Phoebe has said this week:

"I can't see! I'm bald!"

"I have servants to make sure that I can always have peaceful privacy in my life."

"Allow me to introduce you to my daughters, Shifta and Jaleesa."

"I fell down and hurt myself! It hurts terrible much. It hurts a million times much!"

"I said no! A-R-G-T spells no!"

"Would you like to sample some of my lip gloss? I have Strawberry Sparkle, Raspberry Rainbow, Cherry Surprise, and Blueberry Sunrise."

"This is my pretend dog Finn. She's a Goldest Becheever."


This Fourth of July -- two days before Phoebe's birthday -- she and I sat outside while our neighbors set off a pretty impressive, and possibly illegal, fireworks show. Phoebe sat on my lap and exclaimed over each one -- "Look! That one's purple! Ooh, that was a nice big green one, Mommy!" In the (sometimes long) delay between explosions, she'd get off my lap and dance around on the driveway, talking to herself, spinning around, making up stories about princesses and moonbeams and magical unicorns. At one point she ran over and sang, "Daddy is the best daddy, and Mommy is the best mommy, and Mallory is the best sister, and I am the best Phoebe, in the world!" and gave me a kiss and ran off to dance some more.

Watching her, I realized how rare these displays would become -- how the time was running out on this innocence, this lack of self-consciousness, this complete joy in her own self-expression. Not too long from now, she won't want to sing in front of me, or dance when the neighbors are watching; certainly there will come a day when she won't think I'm the best of anything. Childhood is like a firecracker -- a bright flash, and then it's gone.

I wish I could bottle it up, her songs and her giggles and her funny mistakes, the weight of her on my lap, the feel of her arms around my neck. But I can't. All I can do is smile, and love her, and watch her grow.


aimee said...

I hope that she'll always dance in front of you! Noah still does but Rhett never did like it.

Chris said...

I feel the same way, all the time. I know there's going to be a point where I would give anything to see and experience the kinds of things the kids are doing now everyday, but it all keeps sifting away. Even trying to capture it on video tape doesn't really work; they always stop what they're doing when the camera comes out. It makes me sad thinking these days are numbered. But then again, thinking of how much hard work it's been just to get to this point, it makes me realize that no matter how many kids you have, you inevitably have to go through this every time, there's no escaping it. I just hope both the girls continue to grow up sweet and feeling secure and loved, and that on some level they'll keep that innocence. I guess if nothing else, it's good that we have our "family videos" and this blog to remind us.