Pushing Lily on the swing at the playground. The air is tepid, not too warm. The weather tempting and teasing us as leaves are not yet on the trees. Buds have not yet even formed on the branches – still barren and harsh, jagged. Exposed. Her hair in two pigtails, tied up in white bands. The fine wisps of hair framing her face, floating like feathers in the breeze…dancing in rhythm with the movement of the swing. Back and forth. In and out.
Lily talks and sings. Her made up little melody sweet and discordant. I don’t care. It is joyful to me.
She asks: Mommy, when I grow up, I marry Keegan?
Me: Well, why do you want to marry him?
Innocently, she answers, "Because he is nice to me. And, he lets me play pirates with him on the playground. Can I marry him?
Me: Lily, you have to be a grown-up to get married.
Lily: Some in my class are 5. I am not 5.
Me: That’s right, but you will be 5 soon enough.
Lily: Why does it take so long to grow-up?
Me: It will be here soon enough. Being little is great, Lily." I wanted to add, it is easy and simple, but she will know that herself soon enough.
Lily: I want to be a grown-up.
Lily Because you are a grown up, Mommy. And, I love you.
If only life stayed so sweet and innocent.