Saturday, March 14, 2009

Nature

This is my oldest daughter. Something is afoot, right now. She is changing before my eyes. Her Eighth Birthday is on Monday (come back then for her birth story) and I think she is feeling that unexplainable growing-up urge. She asks me what she can do to help, she holds the baby and helps the toddler. She wants to do womanly things (asked to shave her legs and wear deodorant) and often opts out of games so she can visit with me and my friends. I remember doing the same thing. It is an interesting time in a girls' life--not really old enough to wear deodorant or shave her legs, but not little anymore, either. She is becoming my friend, if you know what I mean. She is interesting to talk with, fun to be around. My mother taught me a great lesson: she said that, while it is important to have authority with your children, it is also okay to be their friend. None of my siblings, nor I, had big Mom problems when we were teens and Mom genuinely enjoyed our teenage years. There were bumps in the road, of course, but the relationship was strong. Now, as adults, all of us love to call Mom because she is one of our best friends (spouses and siblings are also in that category).
I see the beginning of that kind of relationship with this sweet child. I love her and am proud of who she is becoming.
I ache for her because I know what's coming. She'll have heartbreak and sadness and pain that none of us want for our children, but none of us have the power to stop. But, then, I am excited for her because I know what's coming. She'll have love and joy and success and fulfillment in a way that every parent hopes their child will feel.
Right now, though, she is still only nearly eight. She is still losing teeth and still plays with dolls. I am going to savor every bit of the Little Girl that is left. Before I know it, she will be wearing mascara and heels and sitting in the front seat of the car. But maybe, if I do this right, she will want to hold my hand and will lean on me when she needs to cry for many years to come.
Like I do with my mom, my grown-up friend. Some things don't have to change.

3 comments:

  1. So sweet! Happy early birthday!

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  2. ~~sniff~~ She is such a beautiful girl... and the right kind of beautiful, the kind that glows from inside. Kind of like her mama...
    Nice sentiments Emily, they make me feel good.

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  3. Sweet Post, Emily......wait, wait....I'm going to cry.....ok now.....it is passing.....no, no.....here, it comes again.

    Why do these beautiful daughters have to grow up? But they must.....and how painfully-wonderful it is.

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