Late this afternoon, I found myself sitting on the edge of a fountain, in the middle of a little shopping area, watching Jane sort leaves.  She takes her sorting very seriously.  She lifted each leaf, examined it, and placed it into a crack in the pavement on the other side of her.  Occasionally, she would collect another leaf to add to the assortment.  Then we would count the leaves:  1…2…3…  She gets engrossed in these kind of activities.  She only looked up when two sorority girls began howling with laughter at a table nearby.  I thought Jane might throw one of her fake laughs their way; she loves to mimic sounds, especially laughter, at full volume.  But she just studied the girls for a bit and went back to her sorting.

I am unsure what I loved so much about this time with my daughter.  Maybe it was just that she had been acting like a drunken ferret in the coffee shop just a few minutes before, and now she was playing quietly and peacefully.  But, it feels more significant.  I think, in the glow of the late afternoon sunlight, I really saw Jane as the individual she is becoming.  There is so much that she explores, discovers, analyzes every day.  And I know each discovery makes her more independent, more self-sufficient.  Some days that makes me sad; I feel like I am losing my baby.  But today I just felt awe that I get to share the world, and my life, with this wonderful little person.  And I am so excited to watch her become… whoever she wants to be.


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