We were sitting at dinner the other night and Grace asked for some bread and butter.
I'll get it, Anna said.
I've seen them do it a hundred times. We leave a little footstool in the kitchen so that the girls can reach the bottom shelves of the upper cupboards.
(And incidentally so that I can reach the upper shelves of the upper cupboards).
So I was taken aback on glancing over to see her casually reaching into the cupboard for the bread, with both feet planted firmly on the floor.
She's all long legs and spindly arms. When did she get so tall?
I knew Erik was tall. He always has been for his age. But last time I checked Anna could not reach into the cupboard with that kind of natural ease. She is the smaller one. The little one. She even seems little compared to her younger sister who outweighs her despite the difference in their height.
And I looked over at her, confidently dropping a piece of bread and butter on her sister's plate, and launching into a discussion about tasmanian devils with her brother and father. She's not only taller, but maturing too. She wants an I-Pod, and she gets telephone calls for heaven's sake!
Grace, swinging her legs under the table, and poking Erik while smiling at me beatifically is still a little girl. But all of a sudden, Anna has grown up. And I see it with a mingling of pride and sadness.
But then after dinner she comes and snuggles up on my lap for a story, and as I brush the hair out of her eyes I smile. She's still my little girl for now. At least some of the time.