Do our kids really have to grow up?
A Facebook friend posted about her wee one losing her first tooth: a bitter-sweet experience for parents, precious babies growing up.
This is the closest thing I have to compare.
Elena has just turned ten.
I like to think that Elena and I have a special relationship.
Earlier in the year I asked her how she saw us in the scheme of her social network.
She told me that we were sort of like friends but sort of like family and godparents at the same time.
We had a moment.
The only time I REALLY wished I’d had a baby was one day unprovoked, Elena threw her arms around me and told me she loved me. I think my heart might have stopped. Her mum found me stunned in the bathroom where I’d been washing my hands and asked what was wrong.
I gasped, ‘I’ve missed out on all this love?’
She was good enough to snap me back to reality. Her mum and I are a bit alike. She said ‘Don’t be ridiculous! You haven't missed out on anything. You’ve got all this love now!’
Phew thanks, I was a bit freaked out there for a minute.
When she was six-years-old she sat on my lap and we cuddled. I told her about the first time I cuddled her. It was when she was six-weeks-old and now she was six-years-old. She thought this was pretty interesting. Then we talked about how she was growing up and that soon she wouldn’t sit on my lap anymore and she probably wouldn’t cuddle me much either.
With my clever negotiation skills, she agreed to continue the lap-cuddle-scenario until she was ten.
To be fair, I haven’t pushed the agreement too much because as predicted, the passing of time has changed things naturally.
When she was younger, I used to get to brush out her hair before bedtime when I was visiting. One night I took around 38 bobby-pins and clips out of her hair and saw that she’d taken random chunks out with scissors.
She’d wanted a haircut and I guess sometimes if you want the job done, you’ve got to do it yourself.
She said ‘Sssshh don’t tell mum!’
I once stole her elastic band with blue baubles 'cause I wanted it.
Hey! I 'fessed up!
When asked what she wanted for her tenth birthday she produced the fridge-posted list entitled ‘My birthday presents wish list’.
You can see the photo yourself, but what I took from it went a bit like this:
· Giraffes...anything with giraffes
· Earrings, dangling or studs or anything with giraffes.
I complained I didn’t get the memo saying she’d developed a craze for giraffes.
Giraffes have tested my gift-wrapping skills.
I remember when I went from long to mid-length hair and said to her ‘Hey did you notice my hair? Don't you think it looks better now?’ She said yeah TOTALLY! I was like ‘You could have told me sooner!’
(I should return that elastic band now my hair is shorter right?)
But at her 10th birthday party for family (get it? FAMILY! we are so totally on the A-list) she TOTALLY screws up her face and says ‘Hey you’ve done something to your hair!’ I say yeah it’s a bit darker ‘Don’t you like it?’
Nope she tells me, she prefers it red!
That’s our relationship.
I expect there’s more of that to come.
It may not include so many cuddles but I’m going to love every changing minute of it.
Life goes by and they grow up.
It's beautiful to see kids grow into themselves but it comes with some loss too.
What do you miss most?