Her Blue Jellies

It all started when I unwrapped her new jellies. You know, the clear plastic shoes laced with glitter. I let her pick her own color one late night in the recliner, when "window shopping" became just plain shopping. Just us girls. Picking out swim suits for our boys and for ourselves. "Mingo" one for her, because she loved those pink birds at the zoo. Powder blue jellies for her tootsies. We were Summer set.

The jellies came and as I unwrapped them she said "Mmmm them smell good!" I took a whiff. Yes, they did smell good. Like cotton candy. Sparkly, blue, scented jellies. Girlhood just got better my friends. As she danced around in her new Mingo suit, tapping those blue jellies around I saw a little girl. Yeah, my baby was there still. I know she will always be. But I had a little girl on my hands. Delighting in the sunshine, the prospect of swimming, splashing, and silliness.

It's an image I can't get out of my head. Partly because she asks nearly everyone to smell her feet while wearing those silly shoes. I had a pair of jellies when I was a little girl too...and found a grown up pair for a dollar at Walmart while in high school. When I saw them online I knew I had to share that part of my childhood with her.

Childhood. That's where I'm at with my first baby now. We tried to sign her up for swim lessons, but they wanted her a bit older and that's ok. The summer library reading program has upped their age to kindergarten so we aren't doing that. We got a letter in the mail about Pre-School Prep and I giggled at the notion and threw it away. But those blue jellies? Well, they fit just right.

Her girlhood is here. She too small for some things, just right for others and it's only starting. Girlhood. It's fast and it's fleeting. It's simple and it's sweet. It's sometimes difficult and sometimes it's dreamy. I see it in the way she rocks her babies. In the way she is curious about the neighbors kitty. In the way she sings a song while she digs in the sand. The way she clings to her daddy and the way she says "I love you" about 30 times a day. Kisses for her puppy and smiles for her brother.

I get to watch this girl grow into a lady. I'm going to try to keep her in jellies as long as possible because there are some things it's ok to not grow out of. I'm going to feed her homemade popsicles and let the juice drip, drip, drip. I'll shake my head at the sass and smile at the sweet.

Millie. My little girl.