Only One Childhood (10/23/09)
I stopped to watch my little girl busy playing in her room. In one hand was a plastic phone; in the other a toy broom.
I listened as she was speaking to her make believe little friend, and I’ll never forget the words she said, even though it was pretend.
She said, “Suzie’s in the corner ‘cuz she’s not been very good. She didn’t listen to a word I said or do the things she should.” In the corner I saw her baby doll all dressed in lace and pink. It was obvious she’d been put there to sit alone and think.
My daughter continued her “conversation,” as I sat down on the floor. She said, “I’m all fed up, I just don’t know what to do with her anymore! She whines whenever I have to work and wants to play games, too. She never lets me do the things that I just have to do.
“She tries to help me with the dishes, but her arms just cannot reach… And she doesn’t know how to fold towels. I don’t have the time to teach. I have a lot of work to do and a big house to keep clean. I don’t have the time to sit and play — don’t you know what I mean?”
And that day I thought a lot about making some changes in my life, as I listened to her innocent words that cut me like a knife. I hadn’t been paying enough attention to what I hold most dear. I’d been caught up in responsibilities that increased throughout the year.
But now my attitude has changed, because, in my heart, I realize… I’ve seen the world in a different light through my little darling’s eyes. So, let the cobwebs have the corners and the dust bunnies rule the floor, I’m not going to worry about keeping up with them anymore.
I’m going to fill the house with memories of a child and her mother… For we are granted only one childhood, and we will never get another.