Yesterday, my youngest child, my baby had the audacity to turn seven years old. Apparently, you can NOT forbid someone from growing older. Heaven knows I’ve tried.
On their birthdays, my children make the decision on what to have for dinner. Some years they want me to cook their favorite food and other years they pick a restaurant to visit.
This year, after weeks and weeks of discussion, Eden chose to go to The Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown Indianapolis. I was very grateful because there had been much talk about White Castle prior to her final decision and White Castle and I do not see eye to eye digestively speaking.
At the restaurant, Eden blatantly ignored the children’s menu that our server had given her and perused the adult version quite carefully before deciding on the shrimp fettuccine. With minestrone soup. On the hottest day of the year thus far.
Eden ordered her own food, looking the server directly in the eyes as if she’d been doing this for years, and later she went to the ladies room by herself (as her father hovered protectively in the background- shh! that’s our secret.) Her lemonade came in a tall glass, not a short cup with a plastic lid, and she didn’t spill a single drop.
And as I watched my little girl, my baby, do these grown up things, my heart simultaneously burst with pride while breaking, just a little, in mourning.
Not matter how old she gets, no matter what menu she orders off of, no matter how many candles are on her birthday cake, she will always be my baby.