Today I found a tiny used band-aid. This was a sign. Yet another one I’m not ready for.
Because a band-aid means injury. As mom, I have been the sole administrator of band-aids for all minor and major (which means minor with a whole lot more yelling) injuries for over 11 years. That time, apparently, has come to an end. My eldest daughter put on her OWN band-aid.
What’s next? Will she be taking her own temperature or stitching wounds in the playground?
“It’s just a blister,” she said, when I confronted her with the evidence.
Then she went off to program the computer or something.
Then, as I was sitting at my desk, reeling from my loss in medical status, our seven year old came up.
“I pulled out a splinter,” she said solemnly.
“WHAT?” I nearly fell over. Wasn’t it just two months ago when the Splinter Fairy had to come in the middle of the night to pull out splinters because … well, because that’s what it took to avoid leather restraints around here? “You pulled out a splinter? By yourself?” I gasped.
“Yes,” she said, somewhat shocked. It was as if she couldn’t believe it herself. “I used tweezers.”
Of course I told her it was fantastic, that I was terribly proud of her, and that she was clearly well on her way to medical school.
Then, after she had gone back downstairs, I spent 20 minutes looking at baby pictures.
Every day the signs of this sort abound. I remember when every step seemed monumental – tying shoes, learning the alphabet, getting the number seven to face the right direction. We used to practically throw a party for every milestone, call relatives all over the place, send pictures, maybe make a certificate or something.
But now it’s going so fast I barely have time to celebrate, let alone lament. These kids are no longer just growing up; they are leaping through some sort of time portal with jet packs on their back.
And I sit in the living room with a box of band-aids in one hand and a set of tweezers in the other, watching them whiz by. Dr. Mom is apparently now … unemployed.
I have 11 years experience and a box of Barbie band-aids raring to go. And I’ve got great connections with the Splinter Fairy.