Big Gulp

“Seconds, please.”

It’s the beginning of the next stage, and I’m teary.

My eldest daughter is eight and she’s declared her graduation to adult meals.

“I don’t want a child’s meal,” she said.

“No toy?” I asked.

“Yep. No toy.”

Simple as that. One day a kid, the next day approaching adulthood. She’s growing up. But to me it seems that only yesterday she was still in nappies. Where is the time flying? She is learning how to cut her own food. She is cleaning her own room. She is hanging out alone in her own room. She is growing up. Yet with the child still in her. For only hours before her demands for an adult-sized meal, she was looking through her homemade binoculars for a fox because she had found a footprint of what really did look like that of a fox at the top of our garden-cum-forest on the coast of Argentina. She peered out into the forest beyond through the binoculars she’d fashioned out of kitchen roll tubes and pink paper.

“There it is!” she shouted. “The fox!

I looked. I couldn’t see it.

“Too fast for me,” I said.

She was overjoyed. She raced down through the garden to tell Mummy and ask for a book on footprints to extend her explorations deeper into the forest.

She’s growing up, she’s branching out and, well, child’s portions just don’t cut it anymore.

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