Big Daddy didn’t want her to look like him and she doesn’t. She’s me all over, except she already has a handful of inches on me. She’s mouthy like me, in a way that probably gives my Dad a little bit of satisfaction that I’m getting a taste of my own medicine.
When she was little, her imagination would sweep through the house and she’d enlist everything in her playscapes. I think it annoyed Big Daddy a little, but I understood. Do you want to turn the bookcase into a multi-level doll house? Go right ahead, I’d have loved that when I was a little girl. When she used toy storage drawers to build stairs into her bed, Big Daddy didn’t get it, but I did. Let her imagination go. If she wanted to pretend she was a princess in a big tall bed, she should go right ahead and do it.
That’s what being little is about and you only get to do it once.
She loved to dress up and I let her wear her dress up clothes every where. Why not? I believed in nurturing creative spirit. I still do. I’ve tried as hard as I could to let her be young as long as she wanted to be. There was no hurry to grow up. There still isn’t. You’re a child for such a small amount of time and while being older and grown up seems so wonderful, don’t give up being a child so soon. Stay little. Be little. Keep every piece of innocence you can for as long as you can keep it.
She’s a pretty good student. She’s confident in her smartness which gets her in trouble. Just like me. Sometimes that means that she works too fast and doesn’t stop to think because of COURSE she knows the answers and sometimes it means she thinks she’s smarter than the grown ups in the room. I understand that feeling. I felt that way a lot too and I try to be patient as she learns the intelligence and knowledge is nuanced.
I try not to think so hard about how we’re drawing ever so much closer to adulthood and that in a very, very few years the proof will be in the pudding regarding my and Big Daddy’s parenting skills.
But, who likes to think of the little birds flying the nest. Not me. I cannot conceive of a day when we will send the Princess off to make her way, but I know it’s coming as certain as the seconds and days tick by. She’s growing into a beautiful, kind, thoughtful young woman.
For so many years, I would make a case about how my child, at whatever age, was obviously still a baby. One was a baby, of course, and two is still so very little. Three wasn’t much bigger than two and four wasn’t so big either.
But fourteen? I can’t even logically argue for that anymore. Fourteen isn’t a baby. Fourteen is so far from a baby, but not yet still a grown up, Princess, so don’t get any ideas.