growing up · slice of life

Little Helper Girl

“Would you please bring the artwork for Ms. Marie and the speech packet to the car?”

“That’s a lot of stuff,” Isabelle replied.

“You can always make two trips,” I offered.

“I can do it,” she said.

I opened the door to the garage and Isabelle slipped outside. I closed the door almost all of the way as she ambled to the car. I spun around, walked to the fridge, retrieved my granola and skim milk, and shut the door behind me. I poured my breakfast into the bowl I already set out. I put the perishable items back in the fridge, poured a glass of water, and brought everything to the kitchen table. I was about to sit down when I realized I forgot a spoon. I headed back to the island, grabbed a spoon, and sat down for real. 

A minute passed by and Isabelle still hadn’t returned. What could she be doing in the garage? Even though she’s closer to six than five, my mind went places I didn’t like. What if she was climbing on the snow blower? What if she was tinkering with the lawnmower? What if she hoisted herself to the top of the shelving unit where we keep the motor oil? The what ifs were enough to drag my nine-month pregnant body out of the chair in search of my child. I opened the door to the garage and didn’t see her in front of me.

Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the interior car lights were aglow. It was there I found a curly-haired girl with a white bow sitting patiently in the back seat.

“What are you doing in there?” I asked.

“Waiting for you,” she replied.

“I should’ve told you to come back in after you put those items in the console. Sorry, honey. I need a few more minutes. I still have to eat my granola before we leave for school.”

“Oh!” she replied sheepishly.

“It’s okay. Just c’mon back in the house. I’m almost ready to go.”

Isabelle climbed out of the booster seat, shut the car door, and walked back to the house.

“I thought we were going to school now,” she said.

I kissed the top of her head and then ruffled her curls. “Almost, honey. I hope you’re always this enthusiastic about going to school.” 

She smiled back at me. We walked over to the kitchen table hand-in-hand. I sat down to eat and she stood next to me. 

“Want to sit on what’s left of my lap?” I asked her.

“Sure,” she said.

I pulled her onto my thigh and wrapped my left arm around her. It was nice to have my big girl sitting so close to me as I finished my breakfast. I remember the days I couldn’t stand eating with one hand because I had to hold her with the other. Those days are long gone (but soon to return once her brother arrives in a couple of short weeks) with Isabelle. The days of her wanting to sit on my lap are fleeting so I am savoring the lap time I got this morning. 

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