My daughters are growing up. Yes, they tend to do that. Sometimes they seem to undergo metamorphosis overnight.
My oldest daughter is staying up later and now comes to my bedroom to say goodnight. This is the opposite of the well ingrained last twelve years of me "putting her to bed." This past week, I have watched when she turns to walk out my bedroom. She is almost as tall as me now and her body is long and lean but with curves. She now has a teenager's figure.
How did that happen?
She now takes much longer in the bathroom getting ready. She has been voluntarily taking showers for months with no reminder from me. On and on, there have been subtle little changes.
And everything beyond teenage body changes is going on too: attitude, distancing, independence, deafening silence, or one word answers and what in our house, we call caving. (Caving: going into a space to be alone) I deeply understand the need to be by myself after I have been with others for periods of time. And I can especially see that after a long day of middle school. But for brief moments in time, I painfully miss the little girl who use to cry loud and long for me when I dropped her off at the nursery.
And sometimes, I'm happy for the reprieve.
It's a transition for sure. Mothering is the transition from this little baby who looked at me for every single thing she needed to now, her slowly learning how to do for herself and me backing off. And this will continue throughout the upcoming years. It's a wonderful, positive growth but one that I need to batten down the hatches for. As the sales woman in a clothing store with two grown daughters gave me the sign of the cross over having a tween, it was an induction into the tribe.
The tribe of a mom with a teenage girl. Well, almost. I've got 7 months officially.
I've been told to give it a few years, and they will one day walk back in as they had previously been (nice temperament), like nothing ever happened.
This morning as I was working Middle School Carpool, and a daughter stomped off ignoring what her mother was asking, I walked to the mom's open car window and gave her the sign of the cross. She said, "You have no idea."
I told her that I did understand nodding my head, "I have a twelve year old."