Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Navigating New Waters

We're entering the tween years. Madison is growing up faster than I ever imagined.

Mostly, her personality is consistent with who she's always been. She's empathetic and compassionate, she's a good friend, she's cautious initially, but fearless once she feels comfortable.

But now she gets irritated more easily - her sister being the prime target, but I'm in that line of fire as well. She wells up and cries at music, movies, even discussions of emotional topics. Sometimes she doesn't understand WHY she's crying, and I want to singsong, "I know why!"

Her interest in boys has been peaked. She's not in school where she has a plethora of young men to choose from, and dance, as well as many of her other classes, tends to be female dominated, but she has focused her attention on one particular boy in her art class, who (hold me), has focused HIS attention on HER.

In fact, his little brother told Reagan that he does have a girlfriend, and that girlfriend is Madison.

(Man, gossip is adorable when it's innocent and whispered between siblings in the under 10 crew). 

Does that mean anything? Nope. They play together, with others, at the end of art class, and they usually sit NEAR, but not NEXT to each other at the art table. And she wants to get him a Christmas gift. Do they call each other? Arrange (play) dates? No. Not yet. It's the innocent, elementary school style "relationship", but still...it's a change. And while I'm blinking and wrapping my head around reciprocated first crushes, Adam doesn't know WHAT to do with this information.

Although I know, logically, that it's still a few years away, based on the passage of time, I fully expect to blink and find myself bringing her for her learner's permit. Or looking at colleges. Or packing up her room.

It happened with nine. The halfway point of childhood. Eight year old Madison was all kid. A mature kid, sure, but ALL kid. Giggles and bubbles. Nine year old Madison has plenty of kid left. A kid who plays with American Girl dolls and builds with LEGOs, but also a girl who listens to music while she works, obsesses about her outfit each day (even though we mostly stay home), chats with her friends on the phone, and takes pictures with her Instax Polaroid.

She's riding the wave of the tween...little girl one moment, teenage wannabe the next. She's mature and responsible one moment, then getting distracted by her toys the next. She's giggles and emotional tears and then giggles again.

It's new waters, and I'm new at this too. Hopefully we'll navigate as a team.

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