Yesterday, my oldest daughter had the day off from school. We decided to take a last-minute road trip to Fargo, spending the day doing some of our favorite things.
We started at the mall, making our fingers and toes look fancy at the nail salon. Next, we bopped into Justice and Claire’s for a new outfit and, of course, matching bow and earrings. (Yes, indeed, it was unicorn-themed.)
Our stomachs soon started to grumble, and we made our way over to Panera for lunch.
The day was going great, and I was starting to realize how motherhood gets easier (in a way) with every passing year. Six is a fun age—some independence, but still thinks mom is pretty cool.
Our pasta arrived, and as I was setting up Annistyn’s plate and opening her tube of strawberry yogurt, another mother-daughter duo slid into the table right next to us. If I had to guess, I’d say the daughter was in her 60s while the mother was in her 90s.
I couldn’t help but notice how the daughter so gently cared for her mother—getting her set up for the meal, much the same way I was, with the roles flipped. As I sat there enjoying my tortellini and talkative Kindergartener, I couldn’t stop thinking about this exchange of caregiving as life goes on. When you’re six, mom takes care of you. When you’re sixty, you care for your mom. It’s a beautiful and bittersweet shift.
When the neighboring table got up to leave, the elderly mother’s cane fell. Annistyn quickly crawled under the table to retrieve the cane, kindly handing it to the lady. The two exchanged sweet smiles, and we each went about our day.
The next adventure on our agenda was riding the Ferris wheel at a local store. Snuggled in next to me, my big kid was chattering about all the things she’s done for “quite some time.”
“I’ve been six for quite some time. I’ve been a big sister for quite some time. I’ve been in school for quite some time.”
I responded, “I’ve been your mom for quite some time.”
To which she smugly replied, “Six years! In your face, lady!”
(That kid! She’s as sweet as she is sassy.)
We giggled together as the Ferris wheel continued to spin full circle, much like life. One moment we’re providing the care, and in the blink of an eye, we’re the one receiving it.
Six years or sixty, these are truly the best years.