Her mother called to give me the good news, she has been accepted to a University. She said that it was a "bitter sweet" news because the university is a good one, however 2 hours away from where they live. The acceptance letter had placed a large grin on her face (not very common for her) since her goal has always been to move far away from home.
I could not help but to think back to just a few years ago which to me feels like merely weeks before. The time when I used to change her diaper, make her bottle (3 scoops of powder for 6 oz. of warm water) and hold her little body in my arms. Once during a diaper change (I only assisted on #1) there was an unexpected #2 revealed which prompted me to scream. The unexpected loud screech caused her to cry resulting in me being yelled at by her mother. Another time when I was watching her I placed her on her little blue fluffy chair in order to attain her bottle from the kitchen. I watched her head weigh her down frontward and by the time I ran to her she hit the ground and was hurt.
She was the cutest little girl that I or any one els had ever seen. She had straight black hair down to her neck with bangs, huge cheeks and enormous black eyes. She was always in ruffly, fluffy lacy pink dresses with matching head bands or hair clips. She was always quiet, proud, mature and definitely had a higher IQ than all of her peers.
A few years later she had braces, wore eye glasses and had frizzy hair. She calls that her "dorky faze". During her early adolescent years she continued to show a higher level of maturity and pride than others her age. That is also when apparently she looked up to and admired me (from her own report). She believed that I was "cool" and what I did, said and wore was radical. I was young, I knew all about the celebrity gossips, I never took the parent's side and I had exciting stories to tell about my self and my friend's chaotic lives. She used to spend time in my room, trying on my clothes and shoes, posing in front of the full length mirror as she loved my closet.
Slowly my coolness decreased because as time went by I was not familiar with the hot new boy bands or today's trends any longer. I started shopping at different stores that definitely were not cool for school, and my shoes no longer fit her growing feet. I gradually leaned toward the parent's arguments than the teenager's and the occasions that I agreed with her mother increased. And finally my friends and I started leading more mundane lives. Slowly her level of coolness exceeded mine as I became Ann Taylor and she became Abercrombie & Fitch. I became "9 to 5" and she became "sleep until noon".
I am happy to say that the different levels of coolness did not affect our closeness. We truly get each other due to the fact that we are alike in many ways. The family always compares her to me, stating (complaining to her with a sigh when they are frustrated) "you are just like your aunt". The topics that her parents and grand parents always scold her for are the exact same ones that I used to be harassed for. She does not "listen" and "does her own thing no matter what every one els says", she "eats unhealthy junk", she "cares more about how she looks rather than her education" and she is "lazy". I am very proud as she is my prodigy.
Now she is graduating high school and will be off to college, COLLEGE! It is very hard for me to believe how grown up she is. It is especially odd when I hear the word "my car" come out of her mouth, since I still have not become used to her driving, let alone having her own car and living alone. Is this the same girl with the little pink socks?
She will be part of the real world, she will have close friends and possibly fall in love. It is hard to watch her go and to see that she does not need us any longer. She does not care about my closet any more and she is no longer entertained by my stories as she will have an exciting life of her own to lead. I will be a "has been", an old hag, a meddler, a "wanna be", the crazy aunt! Maybe some day she will come back to take care of me when I am too old to get myself to the bathroom.
Even though I wish that I could keep her close to me and never let her go I know that it is the cycle of life and she will have to live out her own independent journey. I just feel that I did not have enough time to hold that little tiny girl in my arms and play with her. I was not given a chance to savor each moment and I was not ready to let go of my prodigy yet, believing that I still had time. Where did the time go? She grew up with out telling me!