Otherwise Unobserved

My oldest daughter’s bottom braces have come off, and she walks around the house as she enjoys the slick feeling of freed teeth and the new sparkly retainer. It’s just another day, really, but for a small moment there at the kitchen window, I consider how she’s growing up too fast for me. Today it’s braces. Next? College acceptance letters like my dear friend and I talked about today.

I stand there and listen to the miniature explosions of kernels turned to popcorn on the stove. I’ll lay out after school snack, like I have for this past decade, and we’ll all yammer on about teachers and students and the lunchroom table and who said this and that. I’ll gather them up for piano lessons at the cottage in the next town over, and then we’ll return for the lemon pepper chicken already waiting in the refrigerator.

We’ll watch a television show, read books, and finish homework. We’ll listen to music. We’ll find pajamas and snuggle into beds. These ordinary days, otherwise unobserved, are more beautiful and joyful than I could have ever imagined for myself all those years ago.

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