By Stacy Bronec | @stacybronec
In late June, I stood in an outdoor bathroom, waiting for my middle child, Allie. She had asked me to come with her, even though she doesn’t need my help anymore. Music from the wedding DJ poured in through the vent, echoing through the otherwise silent space.
For a moment, my mind flashed to the future. I didn’t see a four-year-old sitting on the toilet; I pictured her as a young woman. Will I someday get the chance to hold her wedding dress in a bathroom, her dark hair falling around her face? I imagined the music coming from her playlist—the songs she chose.
Usually, it takes a lot for me to cry, but a tear pricked the corner of my eye. It seems like a lifetime away, yet, I know it will be here before I know it.
Leaning against the wall, I pictured her upcoming first day of school this fall, sports, school plays, last days of school, and college. Of course, I don’t know exactly what the coming years will look like; it’s all just assumptions. And some of my hopes for her too.
Right now, she’s fiercely independent but also sensitive. (We go through a lot of Band-Aids.) She’s smart and kind. She loves to be by my side in the kitchen, asking questions and offering to help. And she loves her baby sister (sometimes, a little too much).
After washing her hands, we went back to the reception, and I took her hand onto the dance floor. I know this time is fleeting. She won’t always want me to come with her to the bathroom. And, sadly, I won’t always be her first choice in a dancing partner.
I’ve watched her grow from a peanut in my belly to a newborn in my arms and now a preschooler standing in front of me. Her personality is developing more and more each day.
As a mom, that’s one of the most exciting (and heartbreaking) parts—watching them grow. While I know who she is now, I get a front-row seat to who she will continue to become.
While I twirled her around the dance floor, I realized when I daydreamed about her future, none of it was the hard moments. I didn’t imagine the inevitable teenage fights we will have, coupled with eye rolls and exasperated sighs. I didn’t feel the weight of what it will feel like when she (possibly) tells me, “Can you not be seen with me?”
I only thought of the happy milestones ahead.
I leaned down to pick her up and tucked her on my hip—space she’s occupied countless times. She rested her head on my shoulder as I swayed to the music. At my lowest moments, I assume my kids won’t remember any of the happy memories.
But there, on the dance floor, I believed the things she’ll remember first won’t be the hard moments.
She’ll remember the times I held her hand in the bathroom and how she felt as we twirled around the dance floor.
Stacy Bronec | @stacybronec
Stacy Bronec is a farm wife, mom of three, lover of baked goods, and writer. She and her husband farm and ranch in the middle of nowhere Montana. In her previous life, she was a high school counselor. Now, when she’s not taking meals to the field or cleaning grain from the dryer vent, she’s doing barre workouts in her kitchen, reading, or scribbling notes to turn into stories. You can find her on her website, stacybronec.com.