But on this day, Daddy wasn't there. Good thing too, because "seething" is the word that comes to mind when I think about his potential reaction to the little scene that unfolded.
We (Twinkle & I) were at The Hospital on Wednesday, and we were sitting in the waiting rooms/playroom. Twinks was looking adorable (as always; this kid could wear a potato sack, and it would look *charming*) and I was exchanging pleasantries with another mother nearby.
A boy - he couldn't be more than 13, maybe 14, enters my field of vision. He's in a chair, zipping across the carpet, deftly swerving between the people, heading right up through the center of the room. Suddenly, he changes course; he veers ever-so-slightly over toward where we are sitting. Twinks is an animated picture of sweetness; she is playing with a toddler. The Boy slows as he sails past us, and I hear it, audible, but just:
Twinks doesn't even seem to notice; she is glorious in her laughter, playing with this sweet little baby girl. The Boy continues on toward Clinic check-in/Patient Registration. I shake my head slightly, thinking maybe I was wrong. Maybe that Boy did *not* just check out my eleven-year old daughter.
I focus my attention on the other mother again. Now I see The Boy, who has finished at Registration, coming back around for Round Two.
sotto voice: "I liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike it!"
Nope. He's checking her out. He glides by slowly again, this time a bit closer.
murmurs: "Hey... how long you been coming here?"
Now it is all I can do to contain myself. The Boy is openly leering at Twinks; he is clearly interested in her. She is studiously ignoring him; the age-old game is playing itself out right in front of me, but this time one of the principals is my *baby*. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
I'm not ready for this. And I may never be. Twinks is our only child; I am in no hurry for her to grow up. Thankfully, she is still far more interested in being a kid than in trying to wade into the adult world. She still relishes every opportunity to play, and with a wisdom far beyond her years, she already senses that once her childhood is gone that something precious will be lost.
I have always known that this time would come; that some day a young man would come along, a boy who will charm her, and flirt with her, and make her feel all fluttery inside. I just never thought it would happen so soon.
The Boy is handsome, in a clean-cut, outdoorsy way. He has neatly trimmed hair, his skin is golden from playing out in the summer sun, and his eyes are blue. His arms are already muscular and powerful from piloting his chair. His smile is contagious, and full of mischief. I'm betting he is going to be a real heart-breaker by the time he gets to High School.
But for now, he retreats to the relative safety of the opposite side of the room in the face of Twinkles open rebuff. From there, he spends much of his time watching her silently, smiling hopefully whenever her gaze happens to move in his direction.
I almost feel sorry for him.
I'm just not ready for this...