I remember the day we found out we were pregnant with our first baby. We were some of the lucky ones who didn’t try for long. We were still shocked and almost puzzled that we were able to make a baby…were we adult enough for this, were we going to be good parents…the what ifs and worries started the moment that little pee stick showed its pink lines.
Fast forward to the day we knew we would be having a girl; now the worries all became very specific. You know the ones, will she be a drama queen, will she be kind or will she be the mean girl, will she love others with a huge heart, does she really ever have to discover the opposite sex, how do we teach her about body image, when do we talk to her about sex? All of this flooding in and she hadn’t even exited the protection of my womb.
Fast forward again and now she’s in elementary school and friends want her to stay the night (and we’ve chosen to not allow our girls to stay the night), girls begin to experience the pull in their friendships towards a best friend, boys are gross (and for that season we are grateful), mom and dad are still the best thing since sliced bread and her innocence is still in full effect. However, in this season, we realized she wouldn’t be our little girl much longer. Her body began to change and honestly faster than the other girls. Towards the end of elementary school, the moods started emerging and the emotions of what we thought would be, at least, the intermediate years, had now started to poke their yucky heads. It was in these years of elementary school that I realized my daughter was growing up and it was happening all too fast.
So what does a mom do….
I braced myself and began to ask moms who had gone before me, what they had done. I knew there were some uncomfortable conversations that were about to rise to the top of the priority list. Not to mention the fact that, it seems these days, our kids know things WAY earlier than when we did. Call me naive, but my deepest hope was that neither of our girls would NEED to know about “where babies come from” until much later and that we could decide when we were ready to tell them. BUT the truth is, they need to know WAY earlier because I would rather us have the conversation and them be a bit traumatized in the safety of our home, than to have some young kid who thinks he or she knows it all, tell my girls about sex and the human body. It’s sad to admit, but what our kids hear first about things easily becomes their truth and I wanted it to be from our mouths, from a safe space that could remain just that, a safe space for our girls.
So here we are, to those first transitions into my little girl becoming a young lady. WE seemed ready. But here’s where I get vulnerable and raw. I, MOM, wasn’t ready. Not because I couldn’t handle it or didn’t know how to handle the logistics, but because I knew what it meant. My baby girl, my first born, was becoming a young lady, full of new anticipated independence, new choices and new consequences. She is growing up and there’s really nothing we can do to stop it. I’m both sad and grateful at the same time that life works this way. On the one hand, yes, my baby girl is growing up, but on the other hand, she’s growing into a beautiful young lady who is beginning to understand the world just a little bit better and beginning to have a little bit of understanding of who she can be. We are choosing to embrace the change, lean into it and recognize that we aren’t the first people to raise a tween and we won’t be the last. AND we have another beautiful girl close on her heels that will probably be a completely different experience for us, so it’s best for us to embrace these moments and recognize the blessing that we have in these moments of teaching and growing. This time is so short and so fast.
So this is what I’ve decided…NO, I’m not ready, but the time has arrived, this season is upon us and we’ll do our best to encourage goodness and kindness. We will teach her how to love her creator, love herself and love others. I think that is the best we can do.