Daughter needed new things. Well, right now it feels like Daughter ALWAYS needs new things. We were all there at some point in our lives, and if you’re a parent you’ve seen it more recently, but everyone has this time when they just continuously grow for a while. I’ve been complaining about how fast this kid grows for years, but this year it seems like she doesn’t ever stop. Honestly, in the last calendar year she has gone through three sizes in shoes and just as many in pants. We are starting to hit the limits of what can be found in stores made for little girls and will have to move on the the junior section of department stores very soon. She’s already been shopping at some of the stores which cater to an older crowd and bought herself things which fit, if not exactly in all the right places… yet. It’s scary.
So there I was, in a department store on a Wednesday afternoon, sitting outside the dressing room waiting as Husband tried on jeans, when I looked into my hands and saw the items I grabbed for Daughter. I had selected what she told me she needed and also something on super clearance which I knew she desperately wanted. Words like dichotomy and opposite and inverse raced through my head, but what wound up settling there was this phrase, “How the hell is my daughter at once old enough to need her second round of bras in a bigger size but young enough to wish for a matching nightgown set for her and her doll all at the same time?” I said it out loud. Husband heaved a sigh of relief, “Inwas just thinking that same thing!”
Right then all of the fights and tears and calls of “I don’t know why I feel like this!” which we’ve been suffering through once a month or so for the last six months made so much sense. This poor kid. She’s growing fast, sure, but it is about so much more ham needing new jeans. I’ve said before that I know she’s in that weird space of not grown but not kid anymore, but I didn’t really get it, or maybe I didn’t really remember, until right then. I remembered playing with my Barbie dolls and not wanting to get caught because I was “too old.” I remembered wishing I could go on a date with that kid, but not wanting to tell anyone because I was “too young.” I remembered wanting to dress like a teenager but not having the body to do so. I remembered wanting to just wear a soft tshirt and shorts, but suddenly needing to think about a bra. It was hard and scary. It was confusing and I was always on edge.
Right then I made a silent promise to Daughter. I will take her to the “kid” things she still wants to participate in, but I won’t fight the growing up. I will be a guide for her and, while I cannot promise to think everything she wants to do or wear will be appropriate, I promise to always listen to her side and weigh it against my concerns with her father. I will promise to let her be little and big as she wants to and needs to, and I promise to try my best to not get frustrated. It’s the least I can do for her. Tomorrow night, I will ask her what she needs from me and I hope I can live up to her expectations.