purging summer

I woke up to discover my daughter had grown breasts.  And not tiny little mosquito bites that mother’s proudly point out or gingerly giggle at with the ease of time on your side.  Breasts.  Full-fledge-get-me-a-real-bra-this-Target-crap-ain’t-cutting-it breasts.  It was a tragic moment for me.  A sense of loss overwhelmed my caffeine-deprived body as my eleven-year old pounced on my husband and I to wake us from our Saturday morning slumber.  “Wake up!  Wake up!” she shouted.  Her giggle was still the same.  The twinkle in those gorgeous eyes.  The only addition was the extra perky body part I refused to acknowledge.

‘It’s the end!’ I screamed to the world from under my covers.  ‘The end!’

“No mom, we have one more day of summer,” my daughter corrected, oblivious to my symbolic moment of doom.  My husband peeked under and gave me a sympathetic grin.

One more day of summer.  One more day of careless play, of hanging in pajama’s, of endless movie watching and lots of late nights.  Before I know it this big puppy dog that is my daughter will be suiting up in her new uniform and boarding a bus for a forty-five minute ride to her new Middle School.  It seems so diminutive writing it now.  Older, more seasoned parents are chuckling at this very moment remembering the little puddle jump from elementary to middle school.  No doubt they’ve been bruised plenty since:  the new boyfriend, the bad friend, the dreaded driver’s license, the missed curfew, the wrong choice…the wrong choice again. Such bigger fish to fry await me, I realize, and  yet I can’t even fathom my daughter handling multiple classrooms or remembering her locker combination, although I know she can.  I know she will.  I know she is ready.  I know I’m not.

“Stay little!” I beg her and her younger brother, now a confident third-grader.

“No, keep growing,” I hear their father contradict.

I am instantly irritated by the ease in which he offers this thought.  I don’t know how I made it from my daughter’s baby stage to her now bubbling preteen self.  I fear it has been much more difficult for me than for her.  And, even though I am excited for her new adventures and her inevitable growth, she’s got breasts and I can’t stop myself from feeling slightly horrified that this actually happens.

“Mom!” she shouts as she continues bouncing and banging her bony knee against my hip.  She is almost as long as I am and, although she is thin as a rail; she is getting heavy for such endeavors.  “I’m hungry, mom!  Please get up!  Please!”

I froze under the covers thinking what teenage meal she would now deem ‘cool’ and request  for breakfast.  Cereal?  Bran muffins?  Salad?  What do they eat, I wondered, slightly horrified, remembering at the same time her announcement last night that No Lunch Box Shall Be Packed (it’s the land of brown paper bag now that we are in Middle School).  I shuddered wondering how I’d make this leap, or at least, the culinary leap that stood before me.  And then there was silence followed by that sweet high-pitched voice (some would call it a whine, but at this particular moment in time it felt sweet) and in that shrill voice her father and I try so hard to encourage not to happen (yes it was sweet, yes so sweet, why, music to my ears), I heard her ask me in a tone that had her big knee not been precariously lodged in my rib would have fooled me into thinking she was five, she asked:

“Will you make me sunshine breakfast with the toast strips around the yolk like you used to when I was little?”

And instantly the memories came flooding back:  pushing her on the swing, running after her with spoonfuls of baby food because the child wouldn’t eat (yes, there was a time we worried that the child wouldn’t eat), holding her hand, tying the shoes, and all those strips of toast for sunshine breakfast gingerly placed on the plastic Barney plate she loved so much.

A smile spread on my panicked face and suddenly my worries were slightly eased.  Maybe I can handle the breasts after all.  Just keep sunshine breakfast coming.

Sunshine Breakfast


1 egg, separated
2 pieces of toast, buttered
1 tablespoon butter

Fry egg and toast on skillet. Plate with yolk in center as sun, toast as rays and egg white as clouds. Reminisce.

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