All of a sudden we are having grown up discussions

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My baby is growing up; Like for really real grown-up. I noticed the baby fat was slowly getting harder and harder to see. She is growing out of clothes and shoes faster than I can buy them.Really I had adjusted to this kind of growth. On the one hand, logically I knew her brain was growing too. On the other hand, emotionally I was not ready. It seems all of a sudden we are having real grown-up conversations. The simplest answer is no longer enough. She is asking questions about the answers I give. I want to prepare her and at the same time protect her. I want to say, “you don’t need to worry about that.”  The sad truth is, she does.I would love to put her in a bubble and keep her safe physically and emotionally. I used to think of parenting as molding a lump of clay, now not so much. Now I just want to expose her to as much of the world as possible but in a gentle way. In hopes that maybe she won’t struggle as much as I did to find herself. Her true self. A bit naive but still, a goal.

She has come into my room about seven-thirty and cuddling. Mostly on nights when my husband works. It is kind of our unwind and just chill out time. We have had some really serious talks then. I guess because she feels relaxed and comfortable to tell me things. I still have the desire to just pull her all up in my arms and cradle her, protect her from anything that would tarnish her innocence. I am sure she likes it for some of the same reasons. Not to mention all the science that is behind the boost snuggling cuddling and hugs give you mentally and emotionally.

This is just one of those sneaky ways that parenting catches me off guard. Is my brain the most effective and active at seven-thirty at night. That would be a big fat no. Most of the time whatever she brings up instills an instant panic and a why in the hell do we have to talk about it NOW?  What does she bring up at these times? Oh just small things like: When can I wear a training bra?No. You don’t need one. Why do you need a “training” bra? I really don’t know, when you have boobs there will be no training you will just need it.  What does it mean to be gay? It is just a way of classifying what kind of person you find attractive. Why is it a big deal? It’s really not but some people think it is. Why do people say that is so gay? (OMG IS THAT WHAT YOU MEANT THIS WHOLE TIME) I am glad that police don’t act like they did in Selma now a days(if you burst that bubble I may have to hunt you down and kill you myself) Why did those people lie about that black man in the movie? Sometimes people lie when something is really new and it scares them. Why didn’t they see him just as a person? I am not sure, that is just how some people are.  The movie she was referring to was To Kill A Mockingbird.

I have to admit, I am starting to look forward to our talks. They are not always deep. Sometimes we just talk about food. I am glad she feels comfortable enough to discuss ANY of this with me. It is also one of those things in parenting where you realize hey, I am doing something right. If she is coming to me about this stuff, then as long as I continue to foster this kind of relationship, hopefully she will continue to come to me.For now though I will just keep watching her sleep. She often falls asleep in my bed and when my husband comes home moves to her bed. It is still so comforting to me to fall asleep with my hand on her back feeling her slow rhythmic breathing and the steady beat of her heart.

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8 responses »

  1. Erin, the relationship you are building now – open conversations, no judgement – lay the groundwork for those TEENAGE years, when everything is chaotic and you don’t know anything about anything. But really, they know that you do and they are safe with you and that is beautiful.

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  2. Such a bittersweet time, I think. My daughter will be 13 in August and she is making major changes these days. She is growing and changing and it’s happening so fast. I am very happy with the relationship we have. I am careful not to fall too far to the friend side, I want her to always remember I’m mom first, but I do love the life conversations, deep and otherwise. It goes by quickly….don’t blink!

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  3. Erin, it’s so awesome that she feels comfortable with you and will ask you these questions! As a parent, it IS a scary time; how much information is enough? how much is too much? how do I handle this delicately in a way that won’t send them to therapy?

    UGH

    Kind of terrifying, I agree! My sons are 7 and 10, but just weeks away from being 8 and 11 (heart attack) and I’m getting some interesting questions these days. It was easier when they were younger because one word answers typically appeased them, but now they want seriously info! yikes. But I think the most important thing is to never discourage them from asking. Sounds like you’re doing that perfectly. You’re a great momma. 🙂

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  4. I remember when my daughter was around that age we used to do the exact same thing. I loved it then and I love the memories of it now. They grow up so fast. Now I’m watching my own baby having her own babies and man is it surreal! Enjoy every second of it even the fights when it’s over you will be the best of friends!

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  5. They sounds remarkably deep and I often find that having these kind of discussions with my kids make me really think about certain things that I just took for granted! And, when we explain it, it suddenly makes it to much clearer!
    I hear you about not wanting them to grow up! How dare they?!! 🙂

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