Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sixteen and a Half Candles

A few days ago, my oldest niece, Prada sent me a text message, all in caps.

"I GOT MY PERMIT!!!!!"

So she is driving. A car. Around the streets. We talked, and she is giddy, and and she loves driving the mini van, but not the car, because she feels more like the winning party in the mini van. And of course, she wants to drive me little green car. And of course, I will let her, because I swear, I would give her and all her brothers and cousins anything they want.

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I have three images in my head that I cannot shake as I write this.

One is about two weeks after Prada was born. I was 8, and there is a picture of me holding her. I am smiling happily but uncertainly at the camera, having never held anything so small and fragile before. She has a giant mop of dark black hair, and her head is nestled into my elbow. She is looking up at me, and her mouth is making that tiny "o" that baby mouths make when they yawn.

Fast forward a few months, and I distinctly remember sneaking into the room where she was waking up from a nap. I reached into the crib and took her out. I took a sticker out of my pocket that said "Got Milk?" and stuck it on her forehead, and then took her to my sister for breastfeeding. I don't know if I've ever seen my sister laugh so hard.

A few years later, Prada is going through my clothes, looking for things she could fit into, jewlery she could claim, and trying to walk around in my pairs of heels. Okay, fine, she shuffled around in them.

I don't understand how this tiny person became taller than me and started driving.

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