My not-so-little girl

June 20, 2011

I remember when I was young my mother would say things like, “you’ll always be my baby boy,” and, “I wish I could put a brick on your head so you would stay little forever.” Now I’m a parent and my little baby has grown into a big girl. I feel my mother’s words coming to my lips and they almost spill out. Then I look at Ruby and realize that I wouldn’t hold on if I could. She’s growing, and I often feel like I’m not paying close enough attention; feel like I’m missing too many of the precious moments of her life, too many of the new facial expressions, thoughts, worries; feel like too soon she’ll be 14 then 21 and off on her own adventures.

Even as I worry about these moments flying by unobserved or under-appreciated I marvel at her. I marvel as she competently hops off our boat to cleat us off at the docks; wonder at the stories and songs she creates, her whole magical inner-self exposed; beam as she wakes me up with hot coffee (sometimes a little gritty, but still); cringe as she makes the same mistakes I made (and still make); and revel when she becomes—for a moment—her best self.

My not-so-little girl turned 7 yesterday. On her next birthday she will have crossed an ocean. She will, if her promises are to be believed, have bought her own sailboat and be sailing next to Convivia. She will (according to her) be almost a grown up. Will I be stemming the flood of cliches again next year, or will I finally have spent the time observing and appreciating her magnificent orbit around the sun?


  1. Comment by cindy

    cindy June 20, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Happy Birthday to you Ruby! May your next year be full of sweetness and adventure!

  2. Comment by Dave

    Dave June 20, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    So true. And sadly I feel the same way about my boys, and their even much younger! I try to cherish the moments I have, but I guess they will change as they grow. Looking forward to seeing you guys in September!

    • Comment by Tucker Bradford

      Tucker Bradford June 21, 2011 at 10:48 am

      Us too Dave, we were just thinking of and talking about you last night. Can’t wait to catch up!

  3. Comment by Cidnie

    Cidnie June 21, 2011 at 5:29 am

    Ate my comment again. Happy Birthday to Miss Ru! Tucker, I think you and Victoria do in fact take time to notice your kids growth. You are doing an excellent job with the two kids entrusted to you.

    • Comment by Tucker Bradford

      Tucker Bradford June 21, 2011 at 10:50 am

      Thanks for trying again Cid. I’m hoping to have this comment thing worked out just as soon as I… where did that list go…

      anyway, thank you. I love the image of children being entrusted to us 🙂

  4. Comment by Torre

    Torre June 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    So sweet. Good luck to Ruby and her pursuit to have her own boat next year. There’s an opening in the world records for an 8-year-old to solo circumnavigate. Maybe Mattel will sponsor a boat for her? She’ll be a grown up after all … Or not. Hopefully not.

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