Not Ready for 7…

Emily is about to turn 7.  She’s totally ready.  Me?  Not so much.

I’ve known since the day she was born that this was going to be a tough birthday for me.  Don’t get me wrong, none of her birthdays have been particularly easy, but I’ve always dreaded this particular age change, and I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m about to enter unfamiliar territory.  I grew up around babies & toddlers, and for the past 11 years I’ve taught Kindergarten and First Grade.  So when it comes to kids I’ve always been very confident with young children.  But I have no experience with kids over 7, and having been very unpopular and awkward as a kid myself, I am, admittedly, quite nervous about what’s to come.  Jay & I are not really “baby people,” so we were never emotional about any milestones she reached as she grew.   I did shed some tears when she lost her first tooth though, but only because her baby smile was gone forever.  Sniffle.

But now it feels like we’ve reached the end of an era.  Although logically I know this isn’t true, it feels as though the second she turns 7 she’s going to become this sassy little preteen.  Call me crazy if you want, but I feel a little validated given the changes I’m already noticing.  She’s started blaming me for the dumbest little things (usually to take attention off of of her mistakes).  And she’s becoming more aware of her appearance, getting tired of wearing the same clothes all the time and wanting gift cards for her birthday so that she can go shopping.  She actually came out of her room the other day with her shirt tucked in and a shiny silver belt on saying, “I just thought that it really needed a belt Mommy.”  Sigh.

Can I boycott 7?

I know that despite our best efforts she will still grow up.  I know that she will go through puberty.  I know that we will have those mother-daughter arguments where we are both right & both wrong all at the same time.  I know that she will get her heart broken someday, and that she may or may not want to talk to me about it.  (Boy, I hope she does want to talk about it.)  I know that she’s going to go on overnight trips.  I know that there may be battles about what she wears.  I know that she’s going to keep secrets from me.  I know that she’s going to ask for her own phone.  And her own computer.  And her own car.  I know that she’s going to have best friends that are her best friends, then aren’t her best friends, then are again.  I know that she’s going to be convinced that her life is over every time it happens.

Most importantly I know that through it all it’s my job to remain her mother.  Not her friend, not her big sister, not her confidant.  While I am not looking forward to all the craziness that’s coming I’m gearing up for it through prayer and advice from friends and family who have survived raising their daughters.

I love this beautiful girl that God has blessed me with.  Her kindness, love for others, and empathy have already made her a very unique little girl and I pray every day that she will never lose these qualities.  They are who she is, all the way to her core.  I am so grateful for her.  I am so proud of her.  And even though I know Saturday is going to be the hardest birthday yet, I am putting my nerves in God’s hands.  Because I know that He is in control I couldn’t be happier for her, and I truly can’t wait to see what she does with 7.

I love you Sugarbear.  No matter what changes come our way, I love you.

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