Miss Phaedra is growing up at an alarming rate. Her birth certificate puts her at six years old, but anyone who’s ever met her agrees that she’s actually about thirty-six and perpetually annoyed with the two adults that the government insists she live with for the next twelve years. Thank God she’s here, though, because otherwise how the hell would I know how to do really complex things like make ice cubes, or remember to pack her shoes in her backpack?
She’s always been a grownup stuck in a kid’s body, but lately she just seems so much older all of a sudden. Everyone told me that once she hit elementary school, time would hit fast-forward. No one told me it was the three-click fast forward instead of the one- or two-click.
Phaedra got her first pair of glasses today. I finally made the appointment this week after she failed the vision test at school (probably the first and last test she’ll ever fail at school). When I first told her a few months ago that I would have to take her to the eye doctor and she would probably need glasses, she was not excited at all. But after awhile, when she realized that “Holy shit, I could have pink glasses!!!” she decided that she was fine with it. She made it all the way through the appointment, which she took very seriously despite the ridiculous faces and goofy-ass thumb’s up I kept giving her behind the doctor’s back. She is generally not amused with my dumb antics, as she is beyond such immature behavior.Not impressed.
She was thrilled that her glasses were ready the same day. So she put them on, and then she turned twelve years old.
I can’t stop staring at her. Partly because I can’t get enough of how cute she looks in her little glasses, but also because in the ten minutes between sitting down at the counter where they adjust your glasses to the moment she put them on and said, “Wow, everything looks so different,” she aged about five years. Not just in the way she looks, but in her demeanor as well. She just carries herself differently.
Sometimes I hold her in my lap like a baby. She loves it, even though she is Ms. Independence. I think it’s because her time to be the baby was cut off earlier than she would have liked when Bella came screeching up to our doorstep, tires smoking, right before Phaedra’s second birthday. I ask her to slow down and stop growing up so fast. She tells me, “Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll always be your baby.” I make her promise to remember what she said. She does, but I know she’ll forget one day.
But I won’t.