Friday, July 11, 2008

Babies and Kids

There are times in your life when a realization hits you full force. One day years ago, I was shopping on my lunch break for something to wear on a date with Chris. Out of nowhere, I just thought "I'm a real grown-up! Here I am, getting ready for a date with the man I'm going to marry." It was a terrific moment, but I still remember how struck I was by this realization.

This happened to me yesterday with Evie. We met our friends Jackie, George, and Henry for lunch at Chick-fil-A. After we ate, we headed to the kid's play area. It's really perfect for an indoor restaurant because it has a special section for babies. You can push buttons and animals make sounds and talk to you. You can "drive" with fake steering wheels and push wooden cars along a track on the wall. But after we were there a few minutes, Evie was more focused on what the big kids were doing.

In the big kid section, there's a great big spiral staircase that leads to a labyrinth of overhead tunnels. They wind around and one part eventually leads to a slide. Evie started up the stairs. The steps are a challenge for her since she is still pretty short. She pulled and climbed her way up a couple stairs, and I kept waiting for her to turn around and come back down. Up, up, up she went until she was at the top! I couldn't believe it! I was sure once she reached the tunnels she would make her way back, but she continued to surprise me. She let out a little squeal of excitement and disappeared into the tunnels.

What should I do? My mind told me she was certainly too little to be up there on her own. I frantically tried to catch a glimpse of her. Okay, I saw her little head through a window. There she was again looking out of another section. I lost my view of her, but I heard another kid say "Excuse me, Baby." I thought she must be okay since I hadn't heard a cry for help, but I still wanted to see her. Oh, there she was again, zipping by! I heard the pitter-patter of her quick footsteps. Then I heard her laugh and a second later, I couldn't see her. I sent George up to look for her, and he reported that she was fine. I began to settle down. I finally sat on the bench with the rest of the parents and waited.

I've known for awhile that Evie is a mix of baby and kid. For a long time, though, she was mostly baby and just a little bit of kid. Sitting on that bench, it suddenly hit me. Now Evie is mostly kid and just a little bit of baby. I was so surprised by this realization! She is a walking, talking, playing-on-the-big-kid-toys KID! Her hair is growing longer and her feet are growing bigger. She is getting taller and smarter and faster.

A few minutes later, she came barreling down the slide with a huge smile plastered on her face. She ran to me, laughing, for a hug. Then she climbed right back up those stairs for another turn in the big kid tunnels, not even giving a second glance to the baby section.

1 comment:

Ryanne said...

They just grow up all of the sudden like that don't they. It is a happy moment but at the same time a bit sad. I remember when my son left the baby toys to the babies...he's 2 and a half....and loves the big kid toys at the playground.