My eight year old is changing.
She has always been strong and independent. As a toddler, she pushed away my hand and refused extra help.
Once she started school, she hugged me in the car, but not in front of her friends.
But lately, I’ve noticed a difference.
She hasn’t been able to get enough of me.
At first, I didn’t note the little things. She was a bit more affectionate, emotional and needy.
It was a little more obvious when she started clinging to me and asking me not to leave at night for my random coffee with friends.
Last week, she asked to sleep in one of my old t-shirts. I thought it was funny, but harmless, so I let her have her pick.
Four days ago she asked if we could dress alike for church and begged for me to wear her glittery lip gloss. (I did and was surprised by the yummy flavor!)
Yesterday, she curled up in bed with me, wrapping her arms tightly around my chest and asked if we could snuggle. She mumbled something about loving my “mommy smell” and buried her face in my neck.
Okay. She had my full attention. All the little things had formed one big thing.
We talked and giggled and I discovered that my little girl was transforming into a big girl. We’ve seen a touch of moodiness and some tears. But even more, a deep questioning of who she will be.
And she’s looking at one person.
She is watching me so closely. I can feel the sideway glances and can sense her desire to mirror me. Her hand is reaching for mine like a tiny child.
I feel like I’m a good mom, far from perfect, but the Mom I’m supposed to be. But when I think about her wanting to emulate me, I falter, a little.
I’m a little impatient. And I’m too quick to speak, and slow to listen. I am vain about some things that don’t matter and I complain about some of my responsibilities. I yell too much and don’t pray often enough.
When I see my daughter wanting to be like me, I have to ask myself one question:
Am I what I want my daughter to be?
And I feel challenged to be the best, not only for my children, but for me. I want to live everyday to the fullest and accomplish my dreams, that are separate from my role as Mom.
My life is not over; it has just begun.
My daughter wonders who she will be.
And so do I.
Food for the Soul:
I Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”