Thursday, May 11, 2006

She is ten and I am frustrated and amazed by her. Her body is rounding the cusp of womanhood while everything else is in limbo. Our arguments lately have been about this. She would like to shave her legs and wear makeup while playing with dolls and pretending to be a princess. My mind can not reconcile these two things. Ten equals transition, and transition is never easy. I'm pushing hard to keep her a child a moment longer, and she pushes back in equal proportion. I tell her that she shouldn't be in such a hurry to grow up while remembering myself at her age and how desperately I wanted to be "grown-up".
She is beginning to separate herself from me. She slices through the layers that connect us in an attempt to define herself apart from me. She deliberately chooses the opposite of whatever I choose, making this separation all the more clear. On a logical level, I understand her need to chip away at the cocoon I have spun around her. She is testing both of us, wiggling her barely formed wings in a space that is shrinking around her. I'm trying to be graceful about this and accept that it is the natural progression of things. I have a feeling that the next eight years are going to be one long tug-of-war and that we will both end up in the mud at times. I hope that we will be able to laugh about it and realize that the rope each of us is pulling on so hard is the very thing that connects us.

6 comments:

Kristen said...

You really have a way with words, Sandra.

Yep, it's going to be hard. I remember arguing with my mom at that stage about which dresses I liked--nothing provocative, just different. We're still different. And we're friends. You're gonna make it.

Aola said...

Very beautifully written.

She is sooo young. I really think boys are easier.
Sethy is 12 and still wants to be just a kid.

keep pulling on your end (she doesn't really want you to let go, she just thinks she does)

Sandra said...

Thanks ladies. Kristen, I remember having the same arugments with my mothere. I think it is a mother/daughter thing.
Aola, I think you are right, boys are easier.

Becky said...

I was there -- believing in fairies and wearing makeup -- for well, ever. I still am in some ways. I still have a trunk of dress up-clothes I pull out for my niece. We do it together.

Sandra said...

Maybe that is the issue. She is so eager to grow up, and I wish I were still a kid. :)

erica said...

sandra,
you have such a gifted vision of what's going on. your words put grace into a situation that, in my memory, can get bankrupt of grace and beauty easily. I think she's lucky. blessed.