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.


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.

A good Friday.

Today I stood in line for an inordinate amount of time for this picture:

Despite the long line up and the somewhat-scoffs by others for having my daughter pose with an over-sized stuffed bunny, I’m glad I have this picture. This is my little girl — the one who woke up excited to dress up as a goth witch to have her picture with the Easter bunny. The one who didn’t care how she turned heads by her outfit, the one who boldly walked through the Lawson Heights mall and ignored all the disapproving looks at her attire. I love her SO much, and I love that she’s able to teach me such lessons, even when she’s only  5 years old.

In light of the religious implications today, I’m also reminded of this segment from Julia Sweeney’s ‘Letting Go of God,” where she talks about atonement and suffering:

Happy Good Friday, every one.