Milestones

Walking around Target, I was blindsided. “Mom, can I buy a bra?” An innocent enough request. After all, she is ten, though she hardly NEEDS to wear one. And yet I am dumbfounded and rendered speechless (no small feat, I assure you). I SHOULD have seen this coming. But it’s like I’m living in Denial-land. And of course she decides to go for the one-two punch a few days later, asking to have her ears pierced. Yes, I know as parents we can say NO. And I often do. But with Taylor, I know these requests are more about confidence and self-assurance, and she is saying, “I’m ready, Mom.” Ready to bridge the gap between little girl and young woman. Moving on from kid to tween.

So I am now the mom of a bra-wearing, ear pierced ten year old (but keep it on the down-low because she would FLIP if she knew I had shared this). I just have to sigh and stifle the tears a bit. Because it’s not about me. She is testing those wings. And this is all part of the process where I learn to let my babies go. Thankfully, it’s a long progression and I have many years left. But here in Denial-land, the warning bells are going off.

Over a month ago, I discovered a bird’s nest in our garage. The mama bird had built it in my party decorations box stored on a top shelf. From that moment, we had to leave our garage door open-all the time. Even while we were gone to the beach for vacation (thankfully we have awesome neighbors). And we watched for weeks. And waited. Until finally, we heard little chirps. Saw the 3 babies. Even after I was convinced that they babies were dead (in my defense, there was no chirping and I hadn’t seen mama bird), they made it. Our garage-bound baby birds lived. And we witnessed their takeoff. Actually, we had to help them escape our messy garage, to the backyard where mama bird waited to begin flying lessons. (Because they might have gotten lost in the maze of all our crap and never gotten out.) Out of habit, we left the garage open that night-just in case-but they didn’t return to the nest. They were out in the world. And who knows how long with their mama until they flew off for good. I marvel at that when I think about my baby birds. Nope, I’m not ready. But I better get there. Like it or not, flying lessons have already begun.

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Double Digits Birthday!

Hi, I’m Sherry and I’m officially the mom of a ten year old. Yes, it’s an admission I’m coming to terms with. (You can post stunned comments on how that is possible since I’m so young. Please.) In all seriousness, I’m glad we were at the beach for Taylor’s birthday. I’ve always felt so at peace near the ocean, and it was the perfect place to come to terms with my oldest child getting older. Where had my little curly haired sweetheart who used to say “papasicle” (popsicle) and “hamburg-gurger” (hamburger) go? Gone are the chubby legs and kissable chunky cheeks. Now, she’s almost as tall as me as she can wear my shoes.

But maybe my nostalgia for her younger years is all wrong. Because it keeps me from savoring the here and now. For the awesome young lady she is becoming. And Lord knows I better live in the moment because those teen years are just around the corner! After all, the point is to give her air under her wings so she can fly. She’s not supposed to stay. Maybe THAT is my big hangup-learning how to let go. Giving her room to find herself and gain independence. I’m headed in the right direction: she’s at camp for the week for her fourth year in a row! But of course, I’m missing her like crazy.

Elizabeth Stone sums it up best:”Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” That is so poignant and true and bittersweet at the same time. And I can’t seem to get the song “Find Your Wings” by Mark Harris out of my head. I’ll share the lyrics and you’ll understand why:

It’s only for a moment you are mine to hold
The plans that heaven has for you
Will all too soon unfold
So many different prayers I’ll pray
For all that you might do
But most of all I’ll want to know
You’re walking in the truth
And If I never told you
I want you to know
As I watch you grow

Chorus:
I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things
I’m here for you whatever this life brings
So let my love give you roots
And help you find your wings

May passion be the wind
That leads you through your days
And may conviction keep you strong
Guide you on your way
May there be many moments
That make your life so sweet
Oh, but more than memories

CHORUS

It’s not living if you don’t reach for the sky
I’ll have tears as you take off
But I’ll cheer as you fly

CHORUS
******

It’s a really good song that obviously yanks on the heartstrings hard. And for my little butterfly at camp who’s now 10, it’s EXACTLY what I wish for her.

Sherry

You know you’re getting old when…

…you are so out of touch with fashion that you don’t get the whole meat dress/purse thing. Apparently, I am not alone. PETA also hated it! Sorry, Gaga.

…you are carded at the grocery store and optimistically think it’s because the wine you are buying. Actually, the clerk just needed it because you used a debit card. Bummer!

…it is no longer an option to change your hair color, but a strategic maneuver to hide your gray. I’m not even 40 yet. Argh!

 …you tell your kids about The Little Rascals (because your son looked like Alfalfa) and how the show was in black and white. And the kids look at you like you just grew a second head. (And don’t even dare mention record players or you’re in a 30 minute conversation).

…you co-teach youth in Sunday School and try to create relevant, exciting discussion–on music, no less–and well, they confirm that you did, in fact, grow a second head. (Until you bribe them with candy. Then they speak.)   

Any of those sound familiar? What are some other classic examples you can think of?

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