For my daughter:

“…she’s going to learn that this life will hit you hard in the face, wait for you to get back up just so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.”

Of late, that is one lesson I’ve been reminded of.

 

The more things change…

Today Emma showed me how loose one of her lower front teeth is — and I’m embarrassed to admit that I cried a little bit.

Maybe it was because today has been a pretty crummy day, maybe it was because I didn’t have much sleep last night, maybe it’s because I’m getting sick and I’m feeling sorry for myself, maybe it’s because of the sentimental time of the year … regardless, I felt sad at the fact that my little girl is growing up. Fast.

Thing is, I remember when she first had that particular loose tooth of her’s pop up. In fact, I can still remember all of the toothless grins and giggles that she had for the first 13 months of her life. And now — she’s on the verge of losing that tooth, to be replaced by a permanent adult tooth. It’s a noteworthy milestone, and one that I need to stop and reflect on.

I know that everyday Emma is changing — whether it’s her newfound love of reading and math, her conversation skills (oh that girl can talk), or her ever-growing-out-of-her-clothes stage (how did I produce such a tall child?!) — but lately it’s been difficult for me to keep up with who Emma is becoming. It seems like just when I think I’ve got her figured out, something new enters into the equation, and I’m left having to adjust my understanding of the person she is becoming.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this is a bad thing! Change is important. But change can be difficult, too.

I suppose what I want the most for myself is to be the kind of mama who is open to accepting all the changes Emmalee will go through — physical, mental, and even spiritual. I don’t ever want her to feel trapped thinking she needs to be who the person her mom thinks she should be (or thinks she is).

It’s funny, I often tease her at times by pleading with her “stop growing!” She usually responds to me: “no, mama. I’m growing!”  Yet the other day after I teased her about how fast she’s growing, she got all reflective and philosophical on me (those traits come from her daddy).  After I play-pleaded with her to stop growing, she looked at me and said: “No, mama. If I stop growing, I’ll die.

Of course, following that moment she giggled and went onto being her usual playful 5-year-old self, but what she said has stayed with me.

There are ways of dying on the inside, especially when people don’t accept you for who you are or the choices you make.  I hope that I can have the kind of relationship with my daughter where she will never feel like she’s stuck living up to who I had gotten used to her being. Not only that, but I also hope to be just as flexible and accepting of my friends and colleagues, as they change to become more of who they really are.

 

C is for Career

(this post-a-day-thing is harder than I thought. Every-other-day-a-post is more like me I think)

So, I love Sesame Street!  I loved it when I was Emma’s age, and I love it now as a mama, watching it through the eye of my 5 year old. Here’s our latest favorite YouTube clip of S St.:

On so many levels, this is GREAT. One, because Sonia Sotomayor is just an awesome role model. Two, because we have 4 more years of a President who’ll hopefully appoint more Justices like her. And Three, because this clip goes after the princess ideal that is endemic to being a girl in our culture today.

Don’t get me wrong, I have finally accepted that my little girl eschews her mama’s choice of footwear in favor of shoes like these:

definitely not in Kansas anymore

Yes, I bought my 5 year old HEELS. To say she’s ecstatic would be an understatement.

But I’m no longer rebelling against my daughter’s choices — whether it’s buying uncomfortable shoes at a young age, or her insistence on wearing a dress outside when it’s -20. The fact is that she is who she is, and even though her drawings may be of princesses getting married (which, yes, kills her mama just a bit to have to hang on the fridge), I also know this little girl is smart and funny and loves to read.

That, and I keep telling myself that this whole princess schtick stage will pass.  Videos like the above also help add to my hopes!

The ‘Emma’ style

p.s. Here’s a bonus Sesame Street video that never gets old for Emma and I: Celebrity Lullabies with Ricky Gervais

Around here

Emma decided to label our pumpkins (from our garden!) so we’ll know which one is who’s — I love how she spells my name ‘Rebeky’:

And, it looks like our little grrrl is much more into math than her mama! Here she is showing off her 100’s activity from her Montessori school:

We’ve been reading Charlotte’s Web at bedtime, and it’s like visiting an old friend. It’s quite something to share with my little girl a book that meant so much to me when I was her age! Reading EB White’s words is an adventure in itself — I love how he writes, and how respectful he is to kids. He really doesn’t hold many punches back in tackling some of the more difficult parts of being alive. I’m already stocking up on tissues for when we get to the end of the book.