Caroline turned seven this summer and things began to change.
She watches shows on the Disney Channel that I have always felt were inappropriate. I am letting her watch them now in small doses so she can talk with her friends. I know that I am right in my distrust of the shows though because she asks me to leave the room when she is watching them as though she knows they're not right for her either.
She begs for sleep overs and play dates. She still follows me around the house and reads over my shoulder but her alone time is growing.
I knew we had really turned the corner, and sharply, the other day when she came downstairs to tell me that her clothes were all foolish. I had really been pushing my luck... dressing her like the little girl she is in Hannah Andersson and Land's End while her friends explored the Gap and Justice. At that moment I knew I had to make an important choice. Did I choose to fight with my persistent and independent girl every day or did I find a way that we could both be happy? That afternoon we went shopping and found many ways we could both survive. Caroline now has tee shirts that have writing on them and glitter and jewels but no clothes with lace. When I told her a top looked like lingerie, she asked what that meant. I seized the opportunity to tell her that anyone who didn't know what lingerie was shouldn't be wearing it.
This morning I stumbled upon a quote by an author that I read awhile ago and was lucky enough to find again, Karen Maezen Miller
author of Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood and Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life.
Talk about the right words at the right time... "My girl was a big girl, her own girl, with her own loves and her own life. I was a spectator, but the show was splendid and I still had the best seat in the house. If I were forever looking forward or lingering too long backward, I would miss too much. I would miss it all." - Karen Maezen Miller
So here are some views from the best seat in the house...