Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Pleasure of Her Company

My daughter is now ten, going on fourteen, or forty maybe, a wise woman and fretful child rolled into one amazing, beautiful, smart, spunky girl.

These days, she drives us crazy with her rudeness (and, truly, when it comes to her younger brother, her unprovoked meanness), then turns around and charms us with four or five hours of exemplary behavior, hiking and planning a family garden. She craves solitude most of the time, then emerges from her girlishly pink bedroom renewed, to reward us with her shrewd and comic analysis of everyday events. Her feet are now bigger than mine, and she’s taller than some of my friends, but she will (if I’m lucky) sometimes still hold my hand when crossing the street.

This, I suppose, is her adolescence, the roller-coaster I remember from my own girlhood, where your body and emotions are new, your family sometimes makes you feel sour and stifled, and nothing is as interesting as your music, books, and friends. Although my husband and I will always be here for our bright, beautiful girl, I know this is just the beginning of Miss M finding her own way in the world. It's time for us to re-adjust our parenting style and begin the process of letting go.

Letting go. I can't imagine it.

Lucky for us, there’s still much parenting work to be done--after all, she's only ten! And with that work, still time to enjoy the intense pleasure of her company.

We love you, M.


Andria said...

A lovely post.

500Jerk said...

You are sweet. I hope your lovely girls are doing well.

bjf said...

A bittersweet message from 500Jerk today. Memories rush in. A beautiful girl suffers from growing-up. Is it inevitable? ... Universal?

With much love, BJF