Don't Grow Up...It's a Trap

When having a daughter it at one time or another hits you. The decisions you are making need to mirror ones that you wish for her also to make. When you sit down and take something, you suddenly ask yourself...is this something I would want her to be o.k. with? When you take a stand, you now say, that's right, I would expect her to do no less. This was my past year. I looked deep into those blue eyes of hers and the freckles sprinkled all over her face and was hit with it...this girl is becoming a lady, I want what is best for her, and the best way to do that right now is to demonstrate for her, not navigate, demonstrate. Cause Kendall, she has her own way of doing things, trust me. I have obviously wanted what was best for her all along, hello, I am her mother, but as she ages and matures and becomes her own, the need for the best standards for her radiate even more so. And since she came out of me...I get to do most of the honors, in regards to modeling these, with some help from a few chosen wise ladies to pick up my slack. Because Mama is gonna slack once in awhile. PRESSURE!!! So those that say when they are wee infants, 'don't worry, it gets easier.' Um, sure they can brush their own teeth and deuce on the potty, but I couldn't disagree with you more. Heart and life stuff is much bigger.

Raising children in general is no small feat, raising a daughter...now this, this is astronomical. However, her and I are trudging through the terrain...and now we enter the age of 8...together, same as usual, just with some more purpose...like growing up should.

I am not quite sure where the last 8 years went when it pertains to this child's life.
I am not quite sure that I am prepared for the next 8 years to go just as quickly and for her to be then 16.
What the ?!?!
Whenever you think that time goes slow and nothing changes, have a kid. Or watch a kid grow from birth, whatever fits your fancy. Because there it is, walking around in front of you, all sassy faced and ready for action; the evidence of time flying and things changing faster then you can sometimes keep up.

For instance.

She just came home and told me they were prepping to learn times tables. Times tables?!?!? Didn't I learn them in like 10th grade? This new math baffles my mind. Grouping? What in the world is this? Google can't even make sense of this to me.

The teeth. I love me some 8 year old teeth. And so do the orthodontists in the future. 2nd grade is filled with all sorts of sideways, big and small, and holed up mouths.

The emergence of the, 'You're so mean' and 'I'm running away,' comments. I was wondering when these would come around town. I make sure to tell her that I am aware that I am so mean, and to wait until she is a teenager to see just how mean I really am, but a reminder is always helpful for the ego. And in good mom form, as she is marching out the door to stand on the front step, having 'run away,' I remind her to look out for strange people in unmarked vehicles that look like Mr. Slugworth in 'Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.' And like clock work, the realization of this description quickly sets in and she is throwing it in reverse and stomping to her room to blast, Kids Bop 25, her present form of Nirvana, instead, in a matter of 2 minutes. I start dying my slow and painful death each time these annoying kids of Kids Bop come on, however, at least we know she still prefers us, mean and all.

The gangly body. All limbs, with this skinny torso in the middle. On the whole, an 8 year old's body resembles spaghetti noodles. And they just keep getting longer and longer. I cannot keep up with the ever changing clothing and shoe sizes. I turn around and mid drift is out again, and sleeves don't cover wrists. I tell her to hold out on me, I will supply her with pants and shirts that cover where they must, cause we do go out in public. But that yes, for some time, in those in between moments, your pajama pants are either going to drag behind you and get you all tripped up, or have you resembling preparation for a coming flood. Sorry.

Barbies. You know you get them for them when they are like 3. And really, they don't even make sense until they are of an age where they get story lines and dreaming big. Age 3+ is just dumb. Because I have spent now 5 years dressing Barbie(s) and her counter parts Skipper, Midge, and Ken. I mean seriously Mattel. It is necessary to make tight cotton garments on rubber legs and arms that are not flexible? We have come so far in other things, and yet this still remains an issue 50 years later!  And to imply that a 3 year old can do this is just ridiculous. However, now at 8, she can do this herself and Barbie has been all over the world, from the beaches of my bathroom sink to the snowy mountains of snow drifts on our back porch. She really is a lucky gal. As I type thi,s there is a stiff competition between old Barbies and new birthday Barbies for a spot in tonight's fashion show, as the Kids Bop Dorks sing Miley Cyrus'. 'Wrecking Ball,' in the background. We are saving pennies for the Dream House by completing tons of chores. This is big people.

Notes from friends. Indoor recess, thanks to a really awesome winter, will only increase this. She comes home with a few each day. Circling of 'yes' or 'no.' I love them. 
Kendall, are you buying lunch tomorrow? Yes or No Circle one and give back to me. 
OK! Me to. Let's match on Thursday. Tell all the girls.

I'm 100% I did this as well with my friends. It's like gang symbols for the suburbs.

However, this has also led to notes from another gender as well...

Kindill, you are so fun when we play Apples 2 Apples. 
Your laugh makes me happy. I like your feckles.

This beauty I saved. Come on now. An admirer of things simple and her best qualities??? A boy after my own heart. I mean sure, he might not be able to spell her name, she and I have this also in common, but please, so innocent and sweet, I couldn't give two craps if he calls her Candle, like everyone under the age of 3 does. Who is this boy? I must compliment his mother.

She now looks in the mirror every now and then. I occasionally pay close attention when she does this. I know, supa dupa paranoid Mom. But you know, I want her liking what she sees and feeling really good about who she is. This simple act is an easy way for me to gauge this. For right now, she's doing just perfect... 
'Oh Kendall, I love those curls in your hair today. 
Did your Mom put hair spray in them too? I can tell. They smell good.Wow! They look great!'

You know...self affirmation is important.

Yet she is still just 8. That teetering age. 
Where you still want to cuddle with your parents. 
Where you still need your shoes tied because you can't get it tight enough when you do it. 
Where you get hurt and come crying for band aids and Mommy to fix it and make it better. 
Where sometimes watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with your little brother isn't so bad and you actually laugh. 
Where you can take showers on your own but still need someone to tell you if all the shampoo is rinsed out.
Where you are still afraid of the dark and grab someones hand when in a parking lot.
Where you still play with your little brothers because they are really the ones who get you and are your best friends, no matter what you may say.

listen. i love this shot of her and her brother. all discussing their other brother.
a conversation with a 3 yr. old cannot be serious. sorry sister.
When you're 8 being a kid is at its finest.
Swinging on swings so your feet almost reach the clouds is recess. 
Getting melted ice cream smudged on your nose and chin is still occurring. 
Dressing up and pretending to be anything you can dream of is still fun.

Seeing your aunts on the weekends is still worthy of countdowns.
Sleepovers at Mom Mom's and Pop's are a favorite activity.


Time outs are still your form of punishment. 
Snow Days are still awesome, because it doesn't matter when the last day of school is. 
Being the biggest cousin is a really awesome reality.

Kendall is my perfect storm. Born while it was snowing and it has snowed every year since on her day. I would expect nothing else in the form of weather on this day. Her spunk and tenacity slow you down a bit, and that's exactly her purpose.

She thinks she is hilarious. And she thinks we all find her quite entertaining. 8 year old humor...I plead the fifth. However, her teacher describes her as the class clown, and when I walk up to pick her up from school she usually has someone cracking up in laughter.


Yet. She is fierce. She is strong. She is passionate. She is a girl of aspiration and certainly has a mind of her own. She questions everything from hair color to our governments law making process. She is all about equality and making wrongs right. She is a first born in every sense of the role if you follow birth order. She would burn bras. She will challenge. She will dance when others won't. A spit fire. Watch out for her, she's dreaming big.

To my now 8 year old...

Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.”
~ Nora Ephron

                                                                                                        I love you wildly.
                                                                                                                           ~ Mama