Hey there, my newly nine year old daughter. I see you. You’re getting so tall, so mature, so very, very silly. I love you!
You sit at your desk drawing furiously and then hold up a picture for me to see, approve of, “Mommy, do you like it?”
And I always nod my head yes, hug you so tight and tell you that I admire how much you love art and how passionate you are about your craft.
The next minute, though, you’re pouting because I won’t let you have a friend over, it’s just not fair. That downturned lip so full of the teenage girl I’m not ready for you to be, yet.
I just nod along, life’s not fair, never said it was, but yours is a pretty good one so I’m not feeling too sorry for you.
A few minutes later, she’s back in my room, all bouncy steps and flying hair, “Guess what, mom?” And we’re off and running on to the next story, her life so full of the good that it’s barely interrupted by the minor bumps she calls “horrible events”.
I want to remind her of a few minutes ago when life was falling apart, make it a learning moment. Instead, I revel in her new energy. I love her confident spirit. I love her brightness and passion for life. I also know that those same things are going to make the teen years a roller coaster ride. The highs and lows higher and lower.
I want to tell her this, but she’s only nine, newly nine, and she’s so happy right now. I grab her and hug her tight, “Mom, what was that for?”
“Just because.” Just because I don’t know when I’ll lose these spontaneous moments, the roller coaster dips and climbs becoming too frequent to gauge the timing for hugs. That’s why I’ll take my hug now and keep on praying for my beautiful girl, that she may become a beautiful woman without too many of those speed bumps along the way.