The Big One

As a mother, having babies and toddlers was a tough time for me. I loved it, and I think that stage of life (in retrospect anyway) was totally worthwhile. But it was hard. I struggled with everything. I guess I’m not much of a nurterer. I’m also not much of a cuddler. I also don’t have heaps of patience. And I don’t do well with unreasonable, which little ones can be. I don’t do well with noisy either. I’m not a lot of things that help with babies, I think. Anyway, I felt like that stage of life took forever. And when I was living it, I felt like I was going to be living it forever. When older ladies told me to cherish the time because it would be over so quickly I knew they must be right (because older ladies usually are right) but I could only look back at them with bewilderment.

And now my girls are seven and nine and I’m all like “STOP!!!”

Stop growing up. Stop getting older. Stop becoming independent of me. Just cut it out, will ya.

It all goes by so quickly. *Sniff.

(Wait. Does this mean I’m becoming an  ‘older woman’?)

The big one. She’s so BIG! First of all, she is gaining on me in height rapidly. She weighs seventy five pounds! How did this happen?

She is NINE. Her childhood is halfway over.

Waaaaaaaaaaah! I can’t bear this thought. I don’t want her childhood to be over. Ever. It is funny to me how my own childhood seemed like eons, like an ice age and witnessing someone else’s childhood is like watching a fireworks display.

I love her.

She:

  • Speaks french at me. (I don’t speak french).
  • Has a faith of her own.
  • Has her very first basketball practice today after school. She’s a little nervous about that. She told me she’s a little afraid of falling down. And that it will hurt. On the outside I’m all like “No worries.” and “You can do this.” But on the inside, I’m like “I know.”
  • Reads. Probably at a faster rate than I do.
  • Is the most creative person I have ever met. (I’m hoping this is an adequate explanation for her tendency to space-out.) (Frequently.) (Just like I do.)
  • Is a little bit of an organization freak.
  • Is acquiring quite the little collection of lip gloss. Which she is NOT allowed to wear to school. Because I said so.
  • Is beautiful. I’ve spent the last nine years trying to teach her that beauty doesn’t come from the outside, but then she had to go and grow all beautiful on the outside. And you know, I kind of like it. Bonus: Gorgeous on the inside.
  • Is super-excited to start volunteering in the nursery at church next month. We’re doing it together as a team. I’m pretty excited about that. She is too. It was her idea.
  • Dances like a dream. It is her sixth (I think) year in ballet. My other daughter does very well, she is good with her body and excels technically. My big one however, does art when she dances. When her grandmother came to watch a class last month it made her tear up. Then I teared up. Then the dance teacher teared up. It was bad.
  • Is friends with everyone. She is a peacemaker in her school, after having an early encounter with bullying. I’m so proud.
  • Is a little bit obsessed with saving up her money, and is always looking for little jobs to earn more.
  • But also can’t resist when I offer a trip to the mall. Or the bookstore.
  • Loves graphic novels. I was getting a little worried that her reading skills might be dropping off because she’s been reading a landslide of comics and graphic novels, so when she had a sick day before the Christmas break and was bored I suggested she pick up a novel from her shelves that she hadn’t read yet. She chose Oliver Twist from a classics collection she has. Polished it off in two days. Then devoured Pygmalion, Little Women, and is just finishing up Great Expectations. And the meantime she read five more graphic novels. What? Me worry? Sheesh.
  • Tells me her crushes.
  • Can assemble a wicked fort.
  • Is learning the recorder in school. Practices daily. In her room. With the door closed. (What – I already confessed my issues with noise.)
  • Is learning sarcasm. I don’t have any idea where she picked up that bad habit.
  • Is generally wonderful and I can’t imagine ever letting her go.

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5 thoughts on “The Big One

  1. Yep, I know just how you feel. My boys are the same ages as your girls, 7 and 9. And like you, I struggled through the baby and toddler years (more so the baby years, and mostly thanks to severe PPD). I do like babies, but I found it super hard to handle their unpredictability. I know older kids are also unpredictable, but not in the same way. I absolutely LOVE the ages my boys are at right now. LOVE. I am not really ready to let them get any older. Pity we can’t just stop time! I used to scoff at the people who said “enjoy this stage, it won’t last forever” because for the first few years, I was always wishing time to hurry up. Now I’m in that “sweet spot” and I seriously don’t want it to end. I’m not ready for the pre-teen and teenage years. Not even remotely ready.

    Maybe we can help each other?

  2. Such a lovely girl! And so motivated and talented! And yes, she is growing up so fast We all have been told that, but it’s really true. My lovely baby girl is going to be 24 next week!!! I seem to be reminiscing a lot lately… cuz time just flies too fast!

  3. You know I’m right here with you. (Albeit late. Sorry! Holidays!)

    I want to freeze time RIGHT HERE.

    Love this post about your girl, too. She’s awesome like her mama. 🙂

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