Yesterday, I donated my eldest daughter’s booster seat and bought her a training bra — in the same day.
She’s officially standing on the border of childhood and adolescence, looking to me for permission to cross.
The mommy in me wants to keep her strapped in her seat, naked under her shirt, believing in the fairies I told her live in the new fern I planted. I don’t want to have to give away the last of the toddler dishes and sippy cups.
I want her to stay my little girl — innocent and unaware of the painful, inevitable life experiences she will have to endure.
No one told me that becoming a parent meant I’d have to suffer thousands and thousands of little deaths each day — grieving each moment, each first, each stage.
I’ve watched (with no control) as they’ve slowly slipped from my body, and then my breast, and then my arms, and then my hand, and then my home, and then my every day. Yet, they are still tethered to my heart — my bleeding, aching, loving, concerning, worrying, nurturing, mothering heart.
As she picked out her training bra, I peered through the rack of rainbow cotton to the first crush, and first heartbreak; to the first time she will come home from school in tears because her friends ganged up on her. I’ll hold her as she sustains the crush of betrayal. I saw the musical chairs of confused hormones elbowing each other to find their seats as her body becomes a stranger and embarrassed awkwardness becomes her best friend.
Through the veil of budding womanhood, I saw my cherubic cheeked baby girl becoming a young lady and there is nothing I can do to distract fate.
She is growing up and I have to let her. I have to let her go. ~Rebecca