"A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y!" she sang to me, pointing to the little sticky foam letters which will peel most, if not all, of the stain off the table when we finally get around to removing them. "Did you know Y can be a bowel, mom?"
Um, yes I do, actually?
"Oh, I mean vvvvvowel. It starts withhh a VEEE. Vowel."
Oh just knock it off with the growing, kid.
One day they realize that if you're happy, and you know it, you aren't actually supposed to clap your feet, or that it isn't Chris-chris time, and the next day they're at school getting girlfriends or worrying that their period is going to start soon and you just sit there looking at them like, "How is it possible that you are able to eat food on your own again?"
And then you take your daughter out to play after she's given you a grammar lesson and you both see it at the same time. A monarch fluflubee, flying just above and in front of her, and you stop to watch because there will never be anything more fantastic than a fluflubee. At that moment the wind picks up and the fluflubee is tossed around through the air, hurdled to earth and broken against the black concrete.
Your daughter runs over, bends down, and picks up the creature. She's afraid at first, and so is it, but she is gentle and it is in need and you don't even notice when she she perfectly enunciates the desperation behind momma, the butterfly's wing is broken and the prayer inside of can we fix it, momma? because no matter what she says or how she says it, she is always going to be your baby and you are always going to be spellbound by her wide eyes and huge heart.