A little over a year ago I wrote about surviving my daughter’s fifth birthday. I lamented over the fact that her little girl days were numbered. Well, you guys, it’s happening. She’s growing up. On our annual trek to Delzer’s Pumpkin Farm she hesitated before riding on the on the train. “Mom, I think I am kind of old for this ride.” DAGGER TO THE HEART! Fortunately, there was a girl already seated who was similar in age. As soon as I referenced her, she hopped right in with her little brother. Twisting the dagger a little more was when she rebuffed my hand to help her out of the car when the ride was over. And, the haunted hayride that she refused to do every year prior? No persuasion needed. She willingly went and giggled her way through it. Don’t even get me started on how losing her two front teeth made me cry. Is there anything more endearing than an ear-to-ear grin with two missing front teeth?
That night, I told my husband she felt she was getting too big for the train ride and he shared in my sadness. Having a front row seat watching her grow into her own person is one of the most precious experiences of my life. But, it’s a little tormenting, too. As I watch, I wish there was a way to bottle up these moments so they are forever vivid in my memory. Even more, I hope we are steering her in a direction where she makes good choices, embraces her individuality, and chooses kindness.
I encourage her to embrace growing up and often refer to her as a big kid, but then I go and write about how I struggle with how fast she’s growing up. Ha. Letting go and holding on is a tug of war battle where I cannot predict the winner. A balancing act that I obviously have not yet mastered. My heart takes comfort in knowing she still has some little left in her. She still wants me to take her to bed at night and wait in the hall for a few minutes until she dozes off. She still wants to cuddle during movies. She still sits on my lap from time-to-time. I know the little isn’t completely gone, but it’s fading. And, I know I will continue to face the epic battle of letting go and holding on through every stage of her life. I just never imagined it would be so emotional.
Stay tuned for the next chapter in this roller coaster…