Western North Carolina Woman

eye of the storm
Amanda L. Trancoso

My daughter has become a young woman overnight, and I am at a loss.

Just the other day, one-year old Eden indulged in her new habit of throwing food on the ground. This is a habit much encouraged by our dog, Achaiah, but not appropriate for Grandma’s house. “Pick that up and give it to me,” I said to Eden.

She looked up into my eyes and said, “No.”

I blinked and stared at her in slack-jawed wonder. Moments passed. I was rendered quite speechless. I remember vaguely wondering why my own short life was flashing before my eyes. Eden watched intently. I cleared my throat and struggled with my suddenly clumsy tongue. “I’m sorry, what did you say?” I was completely unprepared. She’s just a baby.

Eden giggled nervously and slowly slunk her hand downwards. She held the offending bread crust triumphantly over her head. “Here-go.” I thanked her, then resumed some deep breathing. Something within me shouted “It Has Begun!”

The next day, as if imbued with power and invincibility, Eden suddenly began walking. Oh, she’d taken plenty of halting steps already. Now she was practically running the length of the house, giggling madly and reaching everything we had thought was out of reach. As I grabbed a pile of CDs—just in time—I couldn’t help but notice how exceedingly tall Eden had suddenly become. Our “Safe-Shelves” had to be moved even higher. I had just saved my glass candleholders when I heard a gleeful squeal from the kitchen. How had she gotten in there so fast? I turned to see Eden chasing Achaiah with a wooden spoon.

In an act of complete surrender, I crumpled to the floor and just watched my daughter. My mind had achieved a stillness that could never be reached through all of my attempts at meditation. As I sat amongst the rubble of teddy bears, Dr. Seuss, Pooh, and Nemo, I became completely centered—time stilled and felt as if I sat in the eye of a great storm. ‘How has this become my life?’ I contemplated with an easy detachment. Somehow the year had passed without my knowledge (or consent!) Now my sweet baby is half as tall as me and has a boyfriend. Yes, a boyfriend, at church.

Did she notice the dumbfounded look on my face? Did she feel the aching of my heart? I don’t know. Eden dropped her spoon and hurried over for a kiss. The illusion passed and time resumed it’s hurried pace. We had a tickle-fest, and I swear she grew another two inches. I threw her over my head, my melancholy lost in Eden’s giggles of delight. I noticed a slight shift in my perception; when I looked at her now, I wondered excitedly, ‘What is my life becoming?’

With a feeling of perfect peace, I threw my arms around my daughter. “I love you!”

Eden laid back and gazed up at me. She carefully worked her tongue around the ‘L’ sound we’d been practicing. “Love mama!” Suddenly my heart stopped, and time stood still...

Amanda L. Trancoso lives in Leicester with her heart-mate Josh, their 1-year old daughter Eden, and dog Achaiah. She works for two different companies, providing supportive services to adults with developmental disabilities. An aspiring Wordsmith, she happily welcomes any comments at AmandaTrancoso@yahoo.com.

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