Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Becoming Such a Little Lady

I heard somewhere that little girls get their first surge of hormones at age 4. Crazy I know but I think I can vouch for it. I started babysitting when I was eleven. I worked at an after school childcare program when I was in high school and as a lifeguard at a daycare when I was in college. I've always loved children. I think they help me keep a fresh perspective on life. But, ages 4 and 5 and then around 5th or 6th grade have always been the hardest ages for me. Probably those hormone surges. This has not been an exception with my own child. Go ahead, chastise me for not saying , "oh, every stage is my favorite" like every good mother is supposed to say. Go ahead and chastise me and we'll keep it between me and you that you're not being honest when you say that every stage is wonderful to you. If you don't have children yet or if you are still in the baby or toddler ages, I know what you're thinking. I thought it too. There once was a day when I thought I could never get frustrated with my child. But, bookmark this post. In a year or two, you might need to read it so that you won't feel alone in your frustration.

Don't get me wrong, we've still had sweet moments that I cherish and even the not so sweet moments mark a place on the path of the beautiful woman that will one day emerge from within her. It didn't help that we had some big life changes in the middle of this age (new baby sister and change in address). I think a daughter asserting her independence is always a hard thing for a mother. I'm sure we'll have these times in the future. But, for now, it seems as if we have made it over some metaphorical hump. And somehow we have ended this stage with her still calling me her best friend. If we can only make it through those teenage hormones with such success, maybe one day she will be a mother herself and she will still call me her best friend as I do my mother. I'm sure it didn't happen over night but somewhere during this first year of Kindergarten, the remainder of the baby that was still hanging on has been washed away. Sometimes when she's sleeping, I look at her in her bed and I think there is a beautiful 18 year old laying there. It won't be too long until there is. It's bittersweet. It's such a joy to watch her grow but sometimes I try to think of her at Chloe's age and it's already hard for me to remember.

Emma Ellis, one day, you'll have a child of your own and only then will you be able to comprehend how much love my heart holds for you.

Quotable: Emma has a small birthmark on her side. The other day, she walked down the hallway toward me and looking down and her birthmark she said, "hey, my birthmark is the shape of the state of Florida".