“But Daddy, why can’t I have this one?” asks the little girl, no older than four, her shoes squeaking on the floor as she jumps and wriggles.
“Because it’s for little girls,” says her father, who has tired circles under his eyes. “You are too big.”
“I am not,” says the little girl, indignantly. “I am a kid. I am little. I am very little.”
“But you are too big for that toy,” says her father. “That is a toy for someone who is littler than you.”
“I am not,” she says, but with less conviction. “I am still a kid and I am a little girl.”
“Come on,” says her dad. As he takes her hand, gently, she places the toy back on the shelf.
“Daddy,” says the little girl. “I am both very little and I am also not very little. Am I a big girl and a little girl at the same time?”
“Yes,” says her father. “You are.”
She mulls it over as she toddles beside the red shopping cart, holding her father’s hand. She giggles at first.
“That’s silly, Daddy.”
And then it dawns on her, slowly, how it is still true.
As the so-called “adult” who just ate ice cream for dinner, I can’t help but think, “I feel ya, sister.”
personal note: If you’re a regular reader of this blog and couldn’t help but notice that I disappeared for like, three weeks — I’m totally still alive. Just got busy and forgot to write. Was so hoping that I could make a glorious and dramatic comeback to my online writing life with a post explaining that I had fallen madly in love, or fought off a band of vicious pirates, or anything slightly more compelling than “she’s been working a lot and hasn’t done her laundry in like a month and keeps trying to function on like three hours of sleep,” but ….. Alas, alas, alas.