She's growing up...she's getting too big. Part of me desperately wants her to cling to childhood as long as she can, to never leave the little girl who is within her. The other part of me can't wait to see the woman she will become.
She ran a 200 meter race at a track meet a couple days ago, this long lanky beautiful girl taller than everyone else. Her legs are so long they go all the way up to her armpits, and against the pink running shorts she was wearing they seemed to never end. She placed third in her heat, then sixth in the final race. I was so proud of her, for pushing so hard in an event she was not destined to win. Those forever-legs were no match for the shrimp who busted out early in the lead and won by a mile. But she gave it her all and I was beaming with pride...once she found her breath she was beaming too. She was proud of herself and knew she did the best she could. It was so nice to see my little perfectionist giving herself a pat on the back no matter what the outcome.
The girl who grew in me ten and a half years ago is now teetering on adolescence, excited to be growing up but scared for the responsibilities that entails. She is self-conscious of her leg and arm hair so we trim it with clippers, yet she is not ready to learn how to shave with a razor. Too much, not ready for that yet Mom. Her feet are too big for her body, something I've been preparing her for since she was little. "A tall tree needs long roots," is what I tell her when she mentions how big her feet are. They are beautiful feet, and one day the rest of her will fill out in proportion to them.
Tonight she told me she felt needy, that she wanted to stay with me for a while. Laying in bed with my back propped up against a pillow, I motioned for her to come join me on the bed. She sat on my lap and reclined with me and I sadly realized the days of holding her like a child were long gone - she was nearly as big as me. We giggled at the thought that it looked like I was holding a baby giraffe, and I told her that I'd hold her no matter how big she got - although if she gets too big she may end up holding me.
I've decided this is one of the most enjoyable times I've had being a mother, and while raising a daughter has always been scary for me, it is incredibly rewarding. Our honest conversations have given us such a close relationship and I can only hope it will remain even slightly intact when she's in her teens and can't help but hate me once in a while.
Now if I could just find a way to keep Brandon from growing up too...