We arrive and more introductions are made, dinner is set up, and then in walks a friend of my Sister, dragging her younger 14 year old brother. Oh boy. The kid looks like a young Ashton Kutcher, shaggy brown hair, dreamy brown eyes and all. Suddenly, the rest of the world didn't exist...and the only thing in the room was my child and Mr. Dreamy. They talked for six hours. SIX hours! He asked if he could ask her out. Asked ME directly. Oh boy. My answer? We will see...with a chaperone, it's possible. Phone numbers were exchanged (with permissions) and my wide-eyed child and Mr. Dreamy parted company.
After a late rising the next day, my child turns on her phone. It rings no more than 30 seconds later. Mr. Dreamy couldn't wait to talk, and had called "like a million times trying to reach you!"
...and it begins. The changing of the guard, from pig-tailed little girl to giggly, gangly-legged young woman. I've walked this path before, with the first one, but somehow it all seems strange and new this time. Perhaps because my heart knows this is the final journey and there's no turning back. Hold on to the remnants of childhood as long as you can, and drag them kicking and screaming back to the playgrounds. Strap them onto the teeter totter and make them remember that childhood only comes once. When it's gone...it's gone.
I watch my young one, and I'm proud..and a little scared.