“What do you want in your lunch tomorrow?” I asked as I pacing around the kitchen looking for things to put in Avery and Macks’ lunchbox.
“I’ll do it!” she exclaimed.
“You know I don’t mind doing it for you,” I replied.
“I know. But you are already fixing two lunches, so I can do my own,” she told me confidently.
“But I’m you’re mom, I’m supposed to do these things,” I told her with a smile.
“I’ve got it mom,” she said back as she grabbed her lunch box and headed for the refrigerator.
It’s evident how much more mature she is now. Just the other day, she told me that she’d rather have clothes for Christmas because she has enough toys and doesn’t need anymore. She’d rather fix her breakfast and lunch by herself and get dressed on her own. She’s become much more mature and less dependent on me. No matter how much I tell her that I’ll happily do things for her, she tells me she’d rather do them herself. I knew this day would come, I just expected it more in the teenage years.
Harlan has always been wise beyond her years. As the oldest and with two younger siblings, she’s taken on the role of the caretaker. She likes to nurture, she likes to make sure that everyone is taken care of before she is. She’s a giver.
There are some days when I wonder just how much she needs me. She’s so set on showing me how she can do things all on her own and each time she learns a new skill. And every time she learns something new, it means that’s one less thing she needs me to do for her.
The other night Harlan walked into my bedroom and told me she couldn’t fall asleep. MacKay was out of town and the other two were sleeping soundly in their beds. I told her to try to read a book in her bed or just lay there with her eyes closed, but she refused. She sat on my bed for a little bit until I told her that it was late and she needed to get to her bed.
“Will you sing me a lullaby?” she asked softly. “That’s the only thing that will help me go to sleep.”
“Of course,” I replied.
We walked into her bedroom and as she got in her bed and I tucked her under the covers I sang a song that I used to sing to her when she was a baby. I watched as she slowly closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep. Just like she did seven years ago when I sang to her in my arms.
It was that moment that I realized that while she no longer needs me like she used to for the minute details in her life, she still needs me. Just as my mom is the first person I want to call when I’m sick, sad, or have had a bad day, Harlan wants the same. My mother has and always will be that ultimate source of comfort for me. And it’s through this lullaby that Harlan showed me that I am that for her. And I’ll always be that. No matter how old she is.