The next day you were 6.
Which is how it happens, I know. Not surprising or terribly complicated, but unbelievable all the same. You are 6. April 24, 2012. 1234567891011121314151617, you count up to anything now, 6 not even a catch-your-breath number to take pause. Numbers a game played with in tangerine cuties. What's 10 minus 4, you say, only I am not supposed to know the answer as you arrange the cuties on the table. 6, you say, triumphant, a little boastful even as you pretend to juggle though you close your eyes to catch. The next day you eat bruised tangerines for lunch.
|The last photo of 5.|
You found an old Ice Cube CD the other night and put it on your karaoke machine. Said that you knew it had the bad f word, but you wanted to dance to it. So you did. So you did.
The next night you asked me if I knew what the b word was. I cocked my head, curious, but you told me it was bunny.
6. Caught between bunny and fuck when all you want to do is dance. Look at yourself in the reflection of the window as you pop your head and arms and jump, feeling bad-ass krumping in a Rapunzel shirt.
When I grow up I want to be just like you.
You are magic, Zoey, your huge hazel eyes fringed with impossibly long eyelashes and I see you watching the world around you, amused. And I see the world watching right back, entranced with the girl who feels bad for the trees when we make her eat salad, who calls her brother baby potato and still thinks it's pronounced earthquick.
And so I will put you to bed tomorrow night, your first day of 6, after telling you the story of when you were born. How they pulled you out of me, a pressure released, how I looked at you and fell smack hard deeply in love with breathing, turned my head and puked, and then turned back to stare into those big, big eyes. And I will tell you again that when they pulled you out of me slick, your tiny baby fingers tore a piece of my heart and took it with you, how no matter where you are, no matter how old or how far, you will always have a piece of me, my sweet, sweet girl. My Zo.
Apparently I was too cranky to write 5. But here's 4. 3. 2. (1 was before I started the blog.)