But, Fiddler Madness is not why I'm quoting the song. It's because these days I'm finding the song not quite so maudlin and more spot-on.
Yesterday, we attended the Bat Mitzvah of one of Middle Daughter's friends; a friend she has known since Kindergarten. She was so poised, so sure of herself, so tall and fresh and lovely and serious and excited. It was as if I was looking at the little girl she had been and the woman she would become all at the same time. Even Middle Daughter was a bit misty about it. She taught me to tie my shoes, MD said wistfully as we exited the temple, and now she's all grown up.
Afterwards, a group of us went out to lunch to celebrate the 13th birthday of another girl in the bunch. Her family had moved away last year to the family farm, and all the girls now attend different middle schools, and so it had been a while since they had all been together. They sat at one table while we moms sat nearby to marvel at the half-familiar creatures laughing and giggling before us.
How did this happen? we wondered again and again. Somehow, seeing my own daughter changing just didn't drive the point home the way that seeing all of them together did. Look at Julie! Maggie is so tall! Jessica is so curvy! It was like looking into the future, only it wasn't the future.
That night was the party. Dinner. Dancing. Tropical theme. Middle Daughter put on the sherbert-green halter dress with the shell trim, and tucked a fresh hibiscus behind her ear. I dropped her off at the fancy restaraunt with an ache in my heart I couldn't quite define.
How was the party? I asked when I picked her up, at an hour past even my bedtime.
It was awesome!! she exclaimed. They taped bubble wrap to the dance floor and we got to jump on it!!
And I knew that, for a while longer at least, she would still be my little girl.