Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Change

(Please insert the sound of a seatbelt buckling. Thank you).

It's not that I don't want her to grow up. Let me just put that out there.

It drives me nuts when I hear other moms whine, "I just want him to be my baby forever." or "Why can't she just stay little and cute?" Because life doesn't work that way. My ultimate goal as a parent is to raise my child to be a completely independent, self-sufficient, contributing member of society. I am proud to watch my kids learn independence. I don't equate my own self-worth with how much I do for my kids, but rather in how much I am able to help them learn to do for themselves.

But the other night, as I watched Bear dress for her school dance, something was bothering me. I couldn't nail it down. Was I turning into one of those pathetic keep-her-my-baby-forever moms? I mean, Karma's a bitch and all. It would be just like Her to have me turn into one of these women I've devoted years of sarcasm to making fun of. (Yes, it's a dangling preposition. Deal with it. I'm ranting here).
It's really not even that I'm not looking forward to parenting a teenager. I used to teach high school. I like teenagers. I like watching them figure out who they are and helping them to work through those tough choices that ultimately lead to them developing their own beliefs and sense of self.
And it's certainly not about me feeling old. I'm more comfortable with who I am at thirty-eight than I ever was in my twenties or, God forbid, teens.
No, what it is, when I delve way down to the root of the matter, is that while I expected her to grow up, I was in no way prepared to have her start looking like a teenager. Holy smokes. I am equal parts proud and slightly nauseous when I look at my lovely, graceful girl.
Does that make sense?

12 comments:

Rose said...

Totally. And she is beautiful.

Jen on the Edge said...

It makes complete sense and I'm having the same thoughts about my own almost-teen.

Linda said...

Every word of what you said makes sense. I experienced all of those feelings when I raised you, and now I'm going through it all again as Bear and Bug mature. From what I can see, you and Daddy Shortbread are raising my granddaughters to be thoughtful, independent, ambitious adults. And they'll always love you for that.

Mary Alice said...

Perfect sense. I have been there too. She is a lovely girl.

smalltownmom said...

Perfect sense. And speaking as a moms of boys, it's a little traumatic when they lose their baby faces and start shaving.

Country Girl said...

Well put. Love your outlook on parenting. Great costumes btw!

Tom said...

Waaaahh. It's been a long day and now you're gonna make me cry...

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Perfect sense. And she's gorgeous.

Dawn in Austin said...

It makes perfect sense. She is beautiful and it sounds like you're doing a great job.

grandma said...

Very busy with Grandpa being down :-[

Is this the little baby girl I held in my arms while rocking her listening to Andrea Bocelli CDs. Where has the time gone;-{ Adorable!

Grandpa said...

All true and well written, notwithstanding the dangling preposition. God willing, you will get to do it at least twice. This time with Bug and Bear and then with your grandchildren. It does not get any easier to let go, ever. Grandpa

Susan said...

I completely agree with you. And it contnues - they get more and more mature and lovely and you find yourself telling the dentist that she is 22 now and you can't believe it is true and graduating from college and probably should get a dentist in the far away city in which she will start her career and...oh, sorry. But that is how it happens.