You know that moment in parenting where you think, “Hey, I think I got the hang of this!” and then days, hours, maybe even minutes later you’re like, “Yeeeeaaaaah…. no I don’t.” You’d think after six years I’d realize that when it comes to parenting there’s no such thing as “getting the hang of it.”
Suddenly overnight Big Sis has become a big kid. She talks like a big kid, acts like a big kid, and looks like a BIG kid. I slowly feel her pulling away from us, just a bit, establishing her independence. She’s always been very opinionated and independent but this is different. It’s almost like she’s starting the journey of coming into her own, figuring out things without us. I know it’s just the very beginning of a long journey of discovering who she is and what God has for her in this world but it’s very crazy to see it starting.
On one part she’s still a little girl, asking for tutus and frilly dresses for school, sizing them up by their twirlability. When we came home from school shopping she tried on her dresses and tutus for Little E, twirling in circles, Little E clapping and saying “Twirl again, twirl again!” Sometimes I think I’m living in “Little Women” and I LOVE it!!!
And then there’s this…
Last week we were at the park. Big Sis and Little E were attempting to climb a tree, I was sitting on the blanket with Belle watching from afar. I looked up and realized that Big Sis wasn’t near the tree anymore. I looked around and out of nowhere she quickly jumps on the blanket, looking a little frantic. I look at her puzzled.
“What’s going on? Where were you?”
She looks at me with a weird look I hadn’t seen before and she says, “I can’t believe I’m about to say this…but that boy in the green shirt just told me that the boy in the red shirt loves me.”
This was my first, “Oh crap, what am I supposed to say” moment.
I’m pretty good at writing, not so good at speaking eloquently on demand.
I fumbled around my words, mumbling a lot of “ohs” and “ums” and then, trying to buy myself some more thinking time I just say “ohhhhhhh, they were just playing around.”
She looks at me with her sassy, doubting look and says, “Really? Cuz I AM NOT ready for this. Not ready for this at all.”
Inside I was dying of laughter and also thinking, “Neither am I kid. Neither. AM. I.”
I wish I could tell you some great thing I ended up saying to her but I don’t think I said much worth anything. There was something about not loving somebody you’ve only seen and something else about true love is when you love who a person is not just seeing them across the park. I don’t know, whatever it was, it was not helpful.
Finally Dirk comes walking over and I think, “Oh good, he’s so good with words, he’ll totally have something great to say.”
He notices Big Sis’ flustered face right away and says, “What’s up?” She tells him the whole thing and he just lets out a big laugh and says, “What?!” and then laughs some more.
Clearly we are not ready for this part of parenting.
As she grows I know that more and more of these moments will come up. When I drop her off at school she still wants a kiss goodbye. When she spies me from across the room, waiting to pick her up from Awanas, she waves and blows me kisses until it’s her turn to come up.
I think I’ve taken that for granted for 6 years but I see that those days will soon come to an end and so I mentally grab every kiss and put it in my pocket because I know I’m going to miss them so.
Parenting littles is so hard sometimes and sometimes I can’t help but wish that things were easier and the kids were bigger because I’m barely keeping my head above water. But as Big Sis’ littleness fades away, I cling even more to all three of my girls “little” stuff because I see how fleeting it is and how much I’m going to miss it so very very much.