Now I Begin,
Now I Begin,
She and I, I and her. I remember when she was little and we were the best of friends. When her daddy was out fighting bad guys for months at a time, it was just us. She and I, I and her. Newly married and just graduated from college, I was away from everything I had ever known. As she grew from baby to child; I grew from child to adult. She and I, I and Her.
It was almost easy back then. I could do whatever I wanted with her hair. She was good with that. I could dress her in as much pink as I wanted. She was fine with that too. She’d sit in my lap while I read stories of princesses and frogs, She and I, I and her.
When I was pregnant with her brother and their daddy had to go away for more months at a time to fight more bad guys, it was again She and I, I and her. She was only five then; but she took care of me. Rubbed my belly with cocoa butter, brought me cold towels while I worshiped the toilet bowel, and we walked to the beach where I would doze while she played in the sand. New city, away from home, she was a little older, I was a lot older. It was just us, She and I, I and Her.
Then there was the night. The night he came. This little wiggling, somersaulting, karate kicking, boy was coming. He was expected, where she had been unexpected. It would no longer be She and I, I and her. There would be an us now. I went into her room to say goodbye. It was not the kind of goodbye where you say, “see you later.” It was a things will never be the same goodbye. Things will never be this easy again. We will not be the same. There will be an us. She and I, I and her. She and I and Him. Us.
We have grown since then. There is a lot more us. Two dogs and a cat. We are now She and I, I and Him, and Daddy who has been home instead of gone. We are a family. I love all of us together. Sometimes I look at her, and I miss the little girl she once was. I miss when it was easy. I miss She and I, I and Her.
It isn’t easy anymore. There is so much to worry over. School, grades, extracurricular activities. Are her friends good friends? Are her friends true friends? Does she make good choices? Who is she now? What does she like? Why doesn’t she like pink anymore? Does she like boys? Does she like girls? Why can’t I do that to her hair? Where is she going to go to college? How will we pay for her to go to college? Will she be okay in college? Will she visit us when she grows up? When was the last time she hugged me? When was the last time she kissed me? When was the last time it was just She and I, I and Her?
When did she get so tall? She’ll be taller than me soon. We are so busy now:
Time to get up. I said time to get up! Breakfast. Get dressed. Make your lunch. Get your stuff together. Let me do your hair. Be nice to your brother. You’re going to be late. Bye, I love you. Have a good day. Pick her up from practice. Drop her off at other practice. Hey, What took you so long? Eat dinner. Be nice to your brother! Do your chores? Did you pick up the poop? No more phone. Be nice to your brother. Wash your hair. Why are you in the shower forever? Did you do your homework? Did you study. I said no more phone! Let the dog out. Get ready for bed. Don’t forget to wash your face. Say your prayers. Didn’t I tell you to go to bed like an hour ago?
I love her so much. When she succeeds my heart bursts with joy. When she fails or is truly hurt, my heart is crippled with pain. Does she even know how proud of her I am..how much I love her? Does she realize there is a bond between She and I, I and Her?
I am not the center of her world anymore. Now she has more in common with her daddy then me. They talk. When I ask a question, it is a one word answer. When Daddy asks a question, it is a paragraph. If I like it, she does not. If he likes it, she loves it too. I am impatient and critical with her. He is surprisingly gentle and encouraging. I am jealous of him. She is jealous of her brother. We are all jealous of each other. She is jealous of I, I am jealous of her. She and I, I and Her.
It was once She and I, I and her. We were on an island, surrounded by oceans and rainbows. It was easy then. It was just She and I, I and Her.