My voice has changed, she told me.
Not believing it was me taking the video of her as a baby, she asks over and over if it’s truly me. She says that voice is too high, too happy to be the mother’s voice to which she’s grown accustomed.
I laugh at the time at her honesty and her reflection, until I ponder it more later that night. Until I play the video back, and I must admit, it seems a whole lifetime ago.
Back when she was the only one. There seemed to be only sunshine, squeals and walks under the stars. Only pink lemonade dripping down her chin between dimpled, plump fingers and sticky overall buckles.
I remember that little girl well, as I watch her in the video. I remember how she smelled, of play doh, sweat and maple syrup, and how her hair matted in the back. That girl was wild and content. She was uninhibited- without a single worry about making a friend or making the grade. After all, we had each other, and together we made cookies for breakfast and pancakes for lunch. She carried a potty in her right hand as she collected eggs from the coop with her left.
I pushed her for hours on the swing in the park. We skipped rocks in the lake. We pet the horses every day before supper.
She was free. And because of that, so was I.
Those were times when I was less weighed down. We had as little money, but as little responsibility. I remember how that freedom felt, my voice cracking in pitch with that element of peace.
Today, my shoulders feel more heavy, my heart more burdened by the constant juggle. My voice, affected too I suppose. She is right. And I too miss my former me, and my younger girl. She is my reminder.
And yet with each morning, I can now sense Spring is coming, and with it, change. And each time I wake, I see the sun has woken a few minutes earlier, supplying me with the welcome hope for the recharge I need.
I can be more present.
This time, this Spring, I can work on my new voice. We can set lemonade in the freezer again, and we can plant new seeds for picking wildflowers in the summer sun.
Me and my wise beyond her years, but still little, oldest girl. Together we still have time to be young again.