Monday, August 04, 2008

HANDING OVER THE KEYS

Took Woohoo shopping recently for school supplies, wedding gifts, birthday gifts, and basic household necessities. We went to "Big Target," the one that is 2-stories and has the coolest escalator just for the cart. That never fails to amaze and delight us. We're like two little kids as we push the cart through its own special gate, into the grooves, then glide along beside it on our adjacent escalator. Cheap thrill.

She helped me print off the bridal registry, search down the gifts, and look for PE shoes for Rojo.

"Does he need facial tissue?" she asks, holding up a two-box package, "this is a good price."

"What about a ruler? We should get him one of the rubber ones with the ridge across the top, that would be easier for him to hold on to, you know."

"I think we should get the couple a shower curtain - that's something they'll use every day. Let's be practical."

When we got home she helped unload the car, put things away, and then she wrapped the gifts and offered to make a card.

She's crossed over. She's officially gives more help than she requires.

When did this happen?

More and more I catch her eye and see that she's just noticed what I've noticed. When something is funny, silly, poignant or annoying, I'll glance at her and see from her face that it's struck her the same way.

When I was a brand new mom a friend of mine, just a year ahead of me in the parenting cycle said, "At each phase something gets easier, and something gets harder." I've thought about the wisdom of those words so much in the last fourteen years.

When Woohoo was a little girl she was not easy, the behavioral pediatrician said during one of our numerous appointments with him, "The qualities that make her hard to raise, are the qualities that are going to serve her well as an adult."

Now, I realize 14 is not an adult, but nor is it a child, and I am beginning to see the wisdom of his words, too, that for years I just believed to be something he said to calm my frazzled nerves.

She was a willful child - she is a headstrong teenager, that cannot be talked into doing anything she doesn't want to do, no matter what her peers are doing.

She was a persistent child - she is a persistent teenager that takes responsibility for her own learning, and will not stop asking questions, until she fully understands.

She was a non-conforming child - she is a teenager that is not afraid to have her own flair for things, she is not a sheep that follows the crowd.

She was a bossy child - she is a teenager that is a born leader.

She had her childhood interrupted loudly and dramatically with the birth of Rojo - she is a teenager that has learned to be flexible, and that all her needs will be met - eventually, but not instantly.

She was a highly sensitive child - she is a highly sensitive teenager, always aware of how others feel, and careful to consider their feelings.

She was a serious child, most photographs show her with a scowl on her face - she is a funny teenager, one that finds the humor in most situations, and above all, has learned to laugh at herself.

I know that as we head into the high school years some things will get easier, and some things will get harder, just like all the other passageways she and I have journeyed together.

I like Drama Mama's comment on my last posting, "There are no wrong doors." I'm sure Woohoo will open a door or two that I'd prefer she not, but I know that when she does, she will be able to rely on herself to figure out what to do from there, and from there, and from there, and if she needs me I will jump in, but I don't hold the keys anymore. She does.


* Photo from pro.corbis.com

13 comments:

Suzy said...

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree....

Love you

Suzy

Amber said...

It is nice to have friends who are walking ahead on the parenting journey.

:)

Maddy said...

Wise words indeed, for all of us, with every passing day.
Best wishes

Michelle O'Neil said...

This one's for the baby book. For the bridal shower.

Love.

Kathryn said...

Well, she's definitely going to be able to take care of herself. Your love for her shines forth in this writing. I will keep everything you said in mind.

MY OWN WOMAN... said...

That in between stage of not being a child, yet not quite a full adult. While most parents hate those years.... I loved them.

La La said...

Beautifully rendered!

I love the way you describe her, the way you know her! To be known and seen by our mothers is so important, and not very many of us get that gift.

You rock!

drama mama said...

I am completely adopting your friend's little saying about things being easier and harder.

My 5 year old, Roxie, already catches my eye on many things, though my 9 year old does not. On the other hand, my 9 year old is so spritually profound, I wonder if I will ever catch up to HER.

Great-assed post.

And I love that WooHoo.

MileHighMommy said...

This is exactly what I needed to read this morning! I'm about 12 years behind you on the parenting cycle, but Woohoo sounds like my Liam. My husband and I are always saying how his stubborn and strong-willed personality will serve him well as an adult...but we just have to survive his childhood! :)

p.s. I clicked over from "Full Soul Ahead"

kario said...

Can I just drive down there and give you both a huge squeeze right now?

I am overwhelmed at the way you parent with your eyes wide open. You are an absolute inspiration to me, my dear.

Love you.

Terry Whitaker said...

I can picture her every movement in this....gorgeous.

Deb said...

So glad you're both getting this relationship. Two beautiful women teaching and learning from each other. Love to you both.

Jess said...

Wonderful post, so cool to get to that point. Lovely to see you both the other day. :)