The following post contains girly information that some may find embarassing, offensive or too much information... You have been warned.
Today I lost my little girl. She threw a ginormous grin at me as she jumped out of the car this morning, hobbling her sprained ankled self into the school, ready to spend the day at the ski lodge
Pirate Tag... yesterday, a young girl, carefree...between Barbies and ponies and nail polish and hairdo's.
She asked me, last night, if she could sleep in my bed with me - a heartbroken little girl who needed her mama to snuggle her through the disappointment of not getting to participate in, what would have been, her first ski trip ever. So,
Upon picking the kids up from their friends' house (I had no idea I was suddenly in the presence of a young woman), a quiet, somewhat embarassed voice (because her little brother was in the car with us) whispered "Mom, I think I got my thing..."
A quiet metamorphasis transpired in the blink of an eye. My baby girl, on the edge of awkward teenagehood, became a young lady on the edge of girlhood...a beautiful, rare, genuine, passionate, kind, awkward with an inner grace, merciful, compassionate, intense, loving young lady.
Where has time gone? In the blink of an eye, Jellybean has gone from a pudgy-cheeked baby to a ladybug loving toddler to a gangly pre-teen with a heart of gold and a desire and zest for a life full of life and hope...a toddler who, due to verbal apraxia, could speak only a handful of awkward (sometimes made up words) to a young lady who can captivate an audience or a hard-hearted gang member with her words and electrifying personality.
I don't put this out on the "interweb" to one day embarass Jellybean but to, one, mark time; two, share with other moms that open discussion with your girls (even boys) about the facts of life, of what to expect in life/from life and they will come to you with their questions, their concerns instead of going to their friends and other sources to get their information. Create moments and opportunities to build trust and foundations with your children that you become their go to person, that they know you will be open, upfront and honest with them in, of course, age appropriate ways.
I have spoken, in some manner or another, to each and every one of my children with open-ended conversations about every aspect of life and growing up. If they have a question, I will never dismiss it; I will answer it as best as I can in the most age-appropriate manner I can. There have been times I have said something along the lines of there being more to it but, that at their age, that is all that needed to know for right now until they were a little older or more mature and they honor that...
Because of that, Jellybean feels that she is able to come to me as she discovers things that shock her about growing up - people she knows turning "emo", cutting, friends with eating disorders and I talk to her about my experiences, share with her honestly, don't dismiss her...if she doesn't have the knowledge, hear the experiences, hear the truth as I see it and discuss with me the topics as she formulates her opinions of what she wants for her life based on these topics, she gets lead, blindly by her peers. Do I really want her peers formulating her morals, her ideaology of what is right and wrong, her theology...?
Talk with your children...not to them...not at them...talk with them. Communicate. Interact. Engage. Make and take time for...