Monday, October 27, 2008

Preteen Bear

This kid is growing up. Fast.

Last year I fretted over her upcoming transition to junior high, worrying about how she would deal with the responsibility of changing classes, more homework, increased peer pressure. How on earth would she ever remember her locker combination? Let's face it, organization has never been Bear's strong suit, and while some of the girls in her fifth grade class were concerned with fashion, boys, and cellphones, Bear was still perusing the American Girl doll catalog and playing dress-up with Bug. As she should. Regardless of what some parents seem to think, ten is still a little kid.
Over the summer, though, I watched the preteen begin to overshadow the little girl. Along with the obvious physical changes, came a heightened maturity, moodiness, and a sudden and complete aversion to waking up in the morning. There was dramatic sighing. There were requests to go to clothing stores. She shyly asked me to show her how to shave.

And then. THEN! She casually mentioned that she didn't really want any more American Girl doll stuff. Oh, she still planned to play with what she has... but this Christmas she'd rather have things like clothes, accessories, and video games. Bug declared her insane and WEIRD.
I've watched with equal parts amazement and pride as she's handled junior high with grace and maturity. Oh sure, we still have the occasional forgotten homework assignment, the inability to remember to bring home her gym clothes, and the exuberant bursts of silliness that reassure me that the little girl is not completely gone.

This past Friday she went to her first Sixth Grade Activity Night at the junior high. Seventh and eighth graders have dances in the cafeteria, while the sixth graders play games and sing karaoke in the gym. I helped her to choose an outfit, let her wear a tiny dab of lip color, and dropped her off with her friend. When I picked her up two hours later, she was laughing and glowing with happiness.

I miss the little girl, but I love the preteen. Isn't she beautiful?


#1quiltinggrandma said...

Well, duh! Have I, or have I not, been telling you and her father that she was beautiful since the moment I first saw her, less than ten minutes after she was born. She is an absolute knockout. And you will have soooo many boys at your door. That will be the problem. Maybe now, you will consider a shotgun. Love, Granddad.

#1quiltinggrandma said...

My # 2 granddaughter is beautiful
too! Love, Grandpa

Nana said...

Our Bear certainly is beautiful. I agree with Grandpa that you need to be prepared for lots of boys at your front door. I often think of that video where she got a toy kitchen for Christmas and keeps asking everyone, "MORE HOT COCOA?" Grandma and Grandpa were with Bear that Christmas, and I'll bet they remember being asked that question at least 20 times. Wasn't that just three or four years ago?? I guess not.

Bug still has plenty of little girl in her, so we still have a "baby" in the family. However, some of the pictures I'm seeing of her lately tell me that we will soon have another beautiful pre-teen to brag about. By then, Bear will be a teen. Can't think about that just yet!

Isn't it odd how the girls are getting older, but their Nana isn't aging at all?

#1quiltinggrandma said...

Oh my gosh!
Our beautiful Swan has arrived. I remember on one of our visits me telling the girls that we all go through an ugly duckling stage, but then we grow into a beautiful Swan. It did not take Bear much time to arrive. Beautiful!

Yes, Nana, I do remember Bear serving us "More Hot Cocoa." Not to long ago Jenn during one of our visits she showed us the video showing Bear serving us hot cocoa and it brought tears to our eyes. Where has time gone?

Bug is our little girly, girl. This last visit it was so cute seeing her pick out the right color ear rings to wear with her outfit of that day. Pull her hair back into a pony tail; apply lip gloss and her favorite sweet smelling lotion.

Jenn and Daddy Shortbread, hang on to your wits and enjoy the ride these two beautiful girls will take you on in the days to come :-)

Caffeine Court said...

She is gorgeous! And so lucky to have a mom like you! What a beautiful post.

Anonymous said...

She has BEAUTIFUL hair! I'm jealous. Better hold on to your hat if the teens are just around the corner! lol.