My little girl is growing up....
This week was Stella's birthday, and for some odd reason I agreed to a slumber (misnomer of the century) party. It was actually comforting despite my lack of sleep: the girls still play truth or dare (except it has become "Dare or Dare" -- these girls live in a time when it's just assumed you don't ever agree to give away your deep dark secrets.) They still stay up later than normal people would. They still can live on Halloween candy and soda and other crap. And they still play those adolescent pecking order games that thankfully seem to even out, at least at a slumber party. There were a couple of tense moments, but I was proud at how she floated about, trying to make sure everybody was having a good time and not letting anybody feel left out.
Soon she -- and her friends -- will enter teenagedom, and she's both anticipating it and fighting it every step of the way. It's a train neither of us can stop, and we both wish it would slow down. But it won't, and we're managing it the best we can. And there's fun things about growing up, and about watching your little girl grow up. Today we opened her first bank account, even though she wanted to blow all her birthday money on some video game. I would have let her, but in good consciousness I couldn't let her spend that much without shopping around. She's mad at me right now, but she'll be glad later. She used to get mad if I called anybody else "Boo-Boos" (her infant nickname), now she cowls in embarassment if I so much as say that name out loud.
I have to accept right here and now that she's going to be mad at me about a lot of things that she'll appreciate later. I'm going to have to say NO more often. And she'll do what al pre-teens do -- overreact and stomp off to her room over the unfairness of it all.
But as I remember it, this is a period of her life she's going to need our unconditional love more than ever, and a firm guide more than ever. When I put her to bed every night, I know this -- she still wants a hug at night, even when ten minutes earlier she's cursing me for making her get her stuff ready for school the next day. She still needs that reassurance, and I'm happy to give it to her.
Because no matter how much she grows up, she'll always be my little girl, and I'll still always stare at her in wonder that something so great (albeit complex!) actually came out of me.
Happy birthday, little boo-boos!