Tuesday, May 18, 2010

These girls, they are a'changing

This month's SVMoms Book Club pick was The Body Scoop for Girls: A Straight-Talk Guide to a Healthy, Beautiful You, and the timing couldn't have been more perfect.

This year, both of my girls have s3x ed (trying to avoid any unwelcome visitors) as part of their curriculum.

I remember back when I was first prepping Sylvia for her future as a "woman." When she was 10, she would run screaming from me when I tried to bring it up! I think she really didn't want to grow up back then, didn't want to face that there were changes coming. Still, eventually, I was able to get the information out, and when her time came, she didn't even tell me! I was hurt at first, but then I was able to take a step back and realize that she wanted to handle this herself, and our preparation had paid off.

As for me, well, I suppose it was an eye-opener for what's to come. I'm so used to her telling me everything, become so accustomed to her sharing every piece of news with me that it was hard not to take it personally. But it's not about me, it's about her. And, as I say often enough, my job is to prepare them for adulthood, and my goal is to raise independent, productive, compassionate human beings.

I just didn't think I'd be one of those mothers who wanted my children to stay young! I didn't think I would have a hard time letting go. And I really wish I wasn't.

I think when Riley's time comes, it will be even harder for me. She is my baby, after all. It's so hard to think of her growing up. Even in 4th grade, she is still one of the cutest things ever. Yet every time I question whether I baby her too much, she'll do or say something so clever, so insightful, so wise beyond her years and I think that maybe the babying she receives is the only thing keeping her young!

I remember back to my first year of single motherhood, when I didn't know if I could survive one more day, my friend Nancy (mother of two daughters, now grandmother) would tell me that it goes by so fast. I would joke, "promise?"

And I know that, even today, as tears well up in my eyes at the thought of how quickly indeed it has gone, I know that next week, I will be so happy that the girls will have finished another year of school and we'll get a few months off from the homework grind. Perspective only goes so far when you're living in the moment.


Tara R. said...

They do grow up in the blink of an eye. But, you are doing a great job preparing both your girls to be self-confident and independent women.

Anonymous said...

I really do love your posts! I am also a "tongue in cheek" sort of Mom, always joking about how horrible parenting is.

My daughter is also in 4th grade and turning ten in June. It's a challenging time to say the least. But interestingly enough, I've noticed an improvement in our relationship since I've recently backed off.

Like letting her do her own thing in the evening and just enjoying the twenty minutes or so of back scratching and snuggling at bed time. She might be a bit early but she is already struggling for independence. I was much the same way so I guess I shouldn't be so surprised.

My goal for parenting is the same as yours - to raise an independent, productive and compassionate (love that you put compassionate in there) woman. Here's Good Luck to both of us. :)

Cat said...

I love that goal of preparing them for adulthood. I know I'm going to have a hard time letting go, especially when girls enter the picture. Because no one will ever be good enough for my little boy. Just sayin'.

Danielle said...

I am still in the "Promise?" stage. I know I will be looking back soon though and wondering where it all went.

Anonymous said...

For a while, only with my youngest, did I go through the "Promise?!" stage. Because her terrible 2's went into the terrible 3's.. and when her dad and I split, it just became even worse. Now that it's all smoothed out, I just take deep breaths and enjoy it all. They really are little wonders!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for your kind email the other day about my blog brouhaha! I love reading your posts on LA Moms and will now visit you here as well!

Lifeofkaylen said...

My son is VERY independent and responsible way beyond his years...and people tell me how lucky I am that I don't have to stress about him all the time, but it's hard because he IS so independent that I miss out on things. I sometimes don't hear about school events at all from him (I now use the school website) unless he needs a permission slip signed or money, and he joined a club and never mentioned it...he has told me that he just feels like he is an adult and he doesn't have to report back to me.
I tried to explain a mothers love and how I need to feel included...
and ended with a discussion about how adults don't leave spilled food on the counter overnight. Or take off their socks on the couch and instead of taking them with you when you leave the couch-just tuck them into the cushions. :)

They really do grow up too fast!!

Linsey K said...

Aw, now you've made me cry and smear my mascara. I love your perspective. You are a wise mama and your daughters are lucky to have you.

Thanks for participating in the SV Moms Group Book Club!

jenn said...

I already wish I could freeze time (although I want to fast-forward through college, so maybe I don't know what I want). They grow up too fast.

Great post.