A Constructed Life

The Big Girl Has Arrived

Dear Addy,

As a five-year-old, you are daily warning me – without even knowing it – of the challenges your preteen and teenage years will bring. Don’t get me wrong, you’re an amazing girl, a mostly sweet and loving 5-year-old who makes friends faster than I can count. And while you’re generally a good listener and rule follower, you’ve always had a mischievous streak. I’m seeing it more and more these days, as you nudge your toes past lines drawn in the sand and essentially give me a big f you by grinning at me while completely disregarding my requests.

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I blame it all on your lunch break at school. A few weeks into the school year, you came home with a revelation to share. “Mommy! Some kids ate their treat first! And then they didn’t even eat their sandwich! And none of the teachers said anything!” I smiled, delighted that in my absence you must’ve still been following our general rule of no dessert until after your meal. And then you gave me a daring look and said, “Mommy. I ate my cookie first. And then I didn’t eat my apple,” as if you were dropping some kind of lunchtime gauntlet, a nutritional Take that, Mom. In your face! I felt you watching my reaction closely. I said, “I trust you to make smart choices when you’re at school,” and left it at that. You looked thoroughly disappointed and confused.

School has brought along kids with older siblings. Kids who are privy to endless uses for the words butt, poop and fart and you, too, have found endless creative ways for this new, highly entertaining vocabulary. And you share it all with your brother.  You have learned such childhood classics as “Trick or treat smell my feet, give me something good to eat” and “Jingle bells, Batman smells, The Joker laid an egg.” You’ve also mastered the eye roll accompanied by an exasperated “Seriously, Mom!” And you are only five! I never expected you to advance so quickly. You’re also trying to master the phrase, “for real,” but keep saying “for real life” and I will never ever correct you because it’s far too adorable when you say it.

Addy, I miss you when you are at school learning new ways to use the word fart. It seems like such a long time to not know what you’re doing. I have a general idea of what goes on in your day, and you’re always happy when you come home and eager to return the next day. You are reading. Not just sounding out words, but real-deal reading books all by yourself. You can write sentences, add and subtract and create incredibly elaborate games that you then dictate to your brother, who is still young and enamored enough with you that he typically goes along with your plans.

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You have started dance classes, and while you don’t especially love them, you are the cutest little ballerina/tap dancer.

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A few weeks ago you kept complaining that your throat hurt. I was going to take you to the doctor, but then you woke up saying it didn’t hurt anymore. But it was in a voice that sounded different – slightly deeper, richer, less of a little-kid-chipmunck sound. I don’t know if it’s related, I just know that it’s so exciting and hard to see these glimpses of you growing up.

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I’m trying to stay on pace with you as you get bigger and older. Your friends are becoming more important to you, you want to make your own choices (like refusing to cut your hair) and seek more responsibility (you want to set the table), but still need your mommy, clinging tight to me in any new setting or as the big kids run by us as we enter school.

I notice you standing up for yourself more and debating rules with us more (you’re quite a negotiator/manipulator already). While I would love for you to just do what I ask, I am glad you sometimes question us. I want you to. I want you to fight for yourself and what you want. But after that, you should still listen to us, okay?

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I remain incredibly proud of you and devoted to helping you become the strongest, truest version of yourself. I want you to always know that you are loved and accepted and safe with us.

I love you, I love you, I love you, my sweet, sweet baby girl.

Love,
Mama

2 thoughts on “The Big Girl Has Arrived

  1. Courtney

    As always, your posts about your kids (especially about them growing up) made me cry. Addy is getting so big–and so beautiful! Love this letter to her–she is going to love reading it one day too.

  2. Liz Post author

    Thanks, Courtney, and glad you liked it! By the way, I read over the post after reading your comment, and because I’m sure your English-teacher-eyes caught it, changed “passed” to “past” in the first paragraph.

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