My daughter is always getting up to something that she shouldn’t be getting up to.
And the best part? She tells me.
She doesn’t exactly come out and say, “Mom, I’m up to something so horribly bad. You’re going to freak out in about two minutes when you see the mess/disaster/danger I’m partaking in.”
It’s never quite like that exactly.
It’s more like, “Mom, I’m not doing ANYTHING. AT. ALL.” This is usually followed up with, “STAY AWAY. DON’T COME HERE, ‘K MOMMY. OKAY? OKAY? OKAY?!?!”
She does this every single time.
She’s a smart one, this one.
The last time she pulled this on me, she was bathing her dolls in the toilet. IN THE TOILET.
The time before, she was knee deep in my makeup with eye shadow and lipstick smeared all over her adorably wicked face.
And as angry as I might get, a part of me always laughs a little. Secretly, of course. Away from her inquisitive eyes that seem to instantly pick up on what she can get away with.
She makes huge messes that leave stains on my dining chairs. She breaks objects that cost an arm and a leg. She rips apart papers that can’t be replaced.
And still, a part of me smiles.
She can be a terror, there’s no doubting that. But she’s my terror.
The one that looks at me with her big brown eyes, asking me if she’s going to get in trouble. The one who knows she’s being naughty. The one who tells me in her little girl voice that she’s really, really, really sorry and won’t ever, ever, ever do it again.
The one who says that even when we both know she’s lying.
The one who is only waiting to see what sort of mischief she can get into next.
Because that’s childhood in a nutshell.
It’s the freedom to get away with mistakes that have no real consequences. It means making messes that can be cleaned up with paper towels. It means chaos that can be calmed with only a sweet word. It means tears that can be made right with ice cream.
It means moments that pass by much too fast.
It means days that don’t last long enough even when you can’t wait for bedtime.
It means memories that last a lifetime but are gone in a flash.
That knowledge is what makes me smile, even when I’m questioning my sanity
That knowledge that it will be over far too soon is what keeps me going.
Because she may be a mischievous child but luckily for her, I wouldn’t have her any other way.