I blinked and it has happened. She promised it wouldn’t, but I don’t think she can help it any more than I can.
My small girl is growing up. And it is happening at the speed of sound.
I’ve noticed that she is starting to call me ‘Mom’ more than ‘Mommy’. She often reaches for my hand when we are out, but not every time like she used to. She likes to cuddle, but it isn’t as frequent. Her tone is changing. The eye-rolling has started. She would rather spend time with her friends than with me. Her greatest devastation is the loss of treasured time with one of her gadgets. She would actually *gasp* like to spend time alone.
She came bounding down the stairs today in jeans, a softball sweatshirt, Converse tennis shoes, hair in a pony tail she had done herself, sports headband, brand new iPod touch tucked firmly in her back pocket and sparkly headphones hanging around her neck.
She is a KID. A KID. I mean… she is still a little girl, but she’s a regular kid too.
And admittedly, she has seemed to be carrying a bit of a chip on her sweatshirted shoulders lately. I’ve been wondering how I will possibly handle 12 and 15 if I’m already struggling with 8 1/2. But I wanted to push all of those thoughts aside… tonight she and I had a date. Just the two of us. And I was nervous. What if she was crabby? Or spoiled? Or bored? Is it possible I’m even worried about this stuff with my not-even-nine-year-old daughter?
Well, I was.
But, I shouldn’t have been. We laughed. And hugged. We shopped. We ran some errands. And had dinner. She even called me Mommy, told me how much fun she was having and thanked me for spending time with her.
It was like winning some kind of Mommy Lottery.
I even let her open a private Instagram account. She loves to take pictures and play with filters and I’m her only follower…. but look what she posted: Yes, I had something in my eye when I saw it.
I told you we had fun.
I want her to continue to trust me, to continue to talk to me, to continue to spend time with me. I know there will be some growing pains, but tonight proved to me how important it is to make time for one-on-one activities with both of my small people.
They need to have days, hours, minutes where they feel like they center of my universe…. where we can laugh, joke, sit and explore.
Every day this parenting thing throws me another curve ball… and every day I do my best to avoid swinging and missing.
Today was a home run.
I believe date nights with your kids are worth more than gold.