Parenting a Pre-teen

Today was a home day. There was no need to leave. Granted, Tim headed to the church office with Susannah (our 10 year old). But I stayed home. And there was a lovely mixture of order, chaos, creativity, boredom, relaxation and hair.
Hair everywhere.

I trimmed Hannah’s hair. Long, thick, wavy hair. It was our bonding moment. Bonding HOUR, actually. My sweet girl. I realized the other day, we’ve probably passed the halfway mark for raising her. It could be a short five to seven years from now that she’s meeting her future spouse. Gulp.

She’ll be grown
and probably

I can’t. make. myself. type it…

Gone. (from our home)

in fewer years than she’s been in our lives. Oh man.

I feel so blessed. But wistful.

Why does life have to pass by so quickly?

When stuff is funky, well then we’re grateful for the quick 24 hour turn- around. Everything’s new. Second chances and fresh moments. But, when those beautiful 24 hours pass by so quickly that you blink and you realize you are all of a sudden caring for and raising a young lady, it’s so humbling and frustrating at the same time. I mean, I just “got” her. She was just a seven pound, four ounce bundle with big blue eyes and hardly any hair. And yet today I just trimmed the tiniest ends off of thick dark, golden almost adult-like tresses.
I wanna cryyyyyy.

And that same baby’s big blue eyes that used to cry for a bottle, or a diaper change or because Winnie the Pooh in a life-sized costume at Disney World is TERRIFYING… welled up with 12 year old sized tears across from me in the bathroom mirror as we talked about friendship and siblings and God’s direction in her life.

She’s not just a big girl now. She’s transitioning to the other side of childhood. And the transition requires “something more.”

It’s like the time I went in for a checkup when I was 23. The doctor recommended that I start taking a daily multivitamin and specified it should have calcium in it. He said bones grow and get stronger up until this age (23) and then (he said) … they start to deteriorate. Thanks. A lot.
His point, which I took with a grain of salt, and a tad of rebellious disregard, was that “it’s all downhill from here.” So encouraging. 🙂

Hannah, once again, needs extra sleep like she did when she was a newborn. And different nutrition. And lots of TLC (the nurturing not the television). Tears happen at the drop of a hat. Both hers and mine. Hers because of hormones. Mine, because: “oh my gosh. I have a pre-teen.”

The newborn phase, and to some extent the toddler and pre-school part of parenting Hannah, seemed, to me, very organic. Natural.

Now… I am stretched. Kinda like those adolescent legs. I have to approach some things differently. More and more communication is proactive on her part and on mine. It’s not so reactive or “need based.”

This is a precious responsibility. Tender. Different. I laugh off the “it’s all downhill from here” ideas of life. This isn’t just a half-way point of parenting… this is a new phase of nurturing. And when transitions require “something more” then, I trust God will provide whatever I lack.

I’m grateful.

And blessed.

And wistful.

And, starting today, I’m taking a calcium- rich multi-vitamin.

Cheers! to all the Mommies out there…may we nurture our children, in every phase of childhood, to the best of our ability. And may God strengthen us (better than any multivitamin) for the task at hand. 😉 XOXO

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3 thoughts on “Parenting a Pre-teen

  1. Have I told you recently, I soooooo enjoy reading your blog…wisdom, humor and insight, wrapped up together so wonderfully. Thank you for sharing.
    By the way, I was at Target today – where were you? 🙂

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