Monday night was Haley's cheerleading show. Before that, I took the girls to dinner to meet two of Haley's friends and their moms at a pizza place. Ira met us there. From there, we went right to the show, where Haley and her cheerleading class did an OUTSTANDING job. They performed at the annual meeting for the JCC and were a fabulous success. I felt sorry for whoever had to talk after them. Just adorable.
As we left the JCC, Haley realized she lost her jacket. We knew she didn't bring it into the JCC so she must have left it at dinner. Back to the pizza place we went.... kids!
When we pulled into the parking lot, Erin said she would run in.
Ira and I sat and watched her go in the door. Now, the place has all glass windows, so we could see her and watch what she did. This is a pizza place I have been going to since I was, what, 14 I think? She went to the table where we sat and looked under all the benches. No jacket.
What would she do?
She walked up to the counter.
She waited her turn.
We saw her talking to the very big, more than a little gruff and loud Italian-pizza-guy-behind-the-counter-named-Joey (Imagine that?) We saw Joey look around. We saw Joey hand Erin something. We saw Erin smile, say thank you and come skipping out the door with her sister's jacket. Joey smiled at us and waved over his head as she skipped away. He's a dad too. I know.
We were shocked.
She is 8 years old? How is she grown up enough to have the confidence to walk into a restaurant, look for the jacket, ask at the counter that is very over her head, and come skipping out? She didn't know we could see her the whole way?
When Erin got in the car, she was laughing. She told us that is was funny because at first she didn't see the jacket. It was inside out and the inside is white and it was with some white towels so she didn't even know it was there, even though the jacket is pink. The man had to look a few times and then he laughed when he found it. She was so proud of herself.
Erin has always been so independent. Always so willing to do things on her own. It shouldn't surprise me. She is my adventurous child. The one willing to do things.
This moment was just one of those that hit me. She really isn't a little kid any more. My little girl is growing up.
How did that happen?