My eye is still sore.
I had just noticed earlier in the evening, as I was watching her soccer practice, how much the freakishly rapid growth spurt that accompanies puberty had take its toll on her. She has always been well coordinated, athletically gifted, even graceful. Then suddenly, almost over night, her body has morphed into something longer, taller, stronger. Now, when she runs to kick the ball she seems just a little out of sync as if her mind has yet to figure out her new limbs.
“She doesn’t know what to do with that body,” I thought to myself and if this were a work of fiction, that thought would be called “foreshadowing”.
Hours, and three soccer practices later, I was snuggled into the worn leather of the living room sofa reading reviews of the works of Joan Didion while trying to decide which book to add to my reading list next when my formerly graceful daughter came in for a goodnight hug.
Sleepily, I reached my arms up to her as she bent to receive my embrace. Then…
Pow! She missed and punched me right in the eye. It was not a tap. Not a graze. Somehow, it was a perfectly placed shiner-maker.
Thankfully, no shiner was produced. The pain is properly hidden in the back of my eye where I don’t have to explain it to anyone.
Of course, she was devastated so I did what a good mother does. I told her it was ok and I knew she didn’t mean to do it. The next day, she had forgotten.
But the next time she comes in for a hug, I’m going to stand up where it is safe. I’m still taller than her.