So I woke up this morning and guess what? You grew up. Overnight. You still snuggle me and give me kisses, but they are the kisses of an older child, who does it more to placate the parent, than for their own comfort. I go into your room at night and smell your breath, still childlike and sweet and look at the length of you tangled up in the Hello Kitty sheets you still adore. (Just last weekend, before leaving for your Dad’s, you said, “So Mom, if you wash my sheets, can you just put the same ones back on? They don’t NEED to be washed, but if you do, can you just make sure you put them back on before I get home? The same ones? Ok? Mom…the Hello Kitty ones you know?”. Got it princess…got it).
I love how mature you have become and how enjoyable you are. The things you require from me are no longer any sort of obligation or work, but fun! We have such a great time together. I drag you everywhere I have to go, because I so love your company! Not all your friends are like this-their parents don’t love all their moments with them, but I cherish them. I know you are the only baby I’ll ever have…and the days are just running right out of your childhood.
You are 9. When I was 9, I was in 4th grade and had my first boyfriend. We are still friends to this day. I cared about what people thought. I started to develop my own interests and opinions. I know where you are at and I love how you are growing up. But how I wish you would stay who you are now. The girl who still loves when we go to Nana and Poppa’s and we get to sleep in the same bed and wake up together. I dread the day that our relationship becomes “grown-up”. Who will keep me young then?
Disciplining you, when I have to do it, albeit rarely, is tough. I don’t like to see you sad, but I want you to be a good person. So I do it. And then I run in and hug you when you are sleeping and whisper in your ear, “I love you. You are my favorite person EVER. You are amazing and I adore you”. then I sneak out, only to check on you several other times in the night (and tuck in that leg that inevitably pops out of the covers two seconds after I leave the room). But it makes me tear up a little…to know you aren’t a baby anymore. And you never will be again. I blinked and it was gone. I won’t have a baby again. Ok, now I might cry in studyhall…the students would love that right?
You now are a whole shoe size larger than me. Shopping in stores that teenagers shop in. Doing your homework because you CARE, not because I force you. Talking about your dream jobs and what college will be like someday. College??? Seriously? Sweetie, make sure it’s someplace warm, because I know I’m going to have to be close by.