T to the ween.

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things look a little different in my world right now. it’s funny how you can just be coasting through life and then all of a sudden, you notice a shift. it’s not any one particular thing that makes you sit up and take notice but it just feels unusual and maybe even a little bit special.

i woke up one morning and this amazing little human was staring back at me. i knew her well but but there was something slightly changed about her.

she still embodies innocence and naivety and believes that life is pretty much mostly rainbows, but she is starting to speak my language and can somewhat understand the way people work. she acknowledges that life comes with its fair share of bumps and bruises. she gets sarcasm and chooses really great outfits without my help.

it was then that i realized i wasn’t in the same place i’d been for the last 9 and a half years. i had moved. we all had. we just didn’t know it. we are now residing in the world where tween girls live.

if you google ‘tween girls’, you’ll end up with pages of fashion and gift suggestions. there are a few articles sprinkled throughout, on how to navigate the ‘precocious’ and ‘suddenly volatile’ pre-teen in your house. but there is a massive hole for what i have noticed to be more true than anything else. and that is, what a fleeting and unbelievably special time these few years are.

my tween still plays with dolls and has an imagination bigger than the room. but she also lurks around adult conversations and is generally interested in grown-ups and what they are offering other humans.

she is testing the waters and breaking out a bit on her own but she still needs me, and most importantly, wants me to stand by and support her. she is eager to form her own opinions but still regards mine as the highest and most omnipotent of them all. i do not take this for granted.

we can all of a sudden have mature talks about boys and bullies and what it feels like when we lose someone. sometimes we get deep into a conversation and i have to remind myself that there needs to be a balance of old vs. new. it’s cool to be able to relate and hang with her but she ultimately still needs me to be her mom. her biggest cheerleader.

because of our circumstances, i have found myself repeatedly telling both of my girls that we can do anything. we don’t need no stinkin’ boys. “we’ve got this.”

of course i’ve always meant it in a light and funny way – to pop a band-aid on the fact that we don’t have a man in our house. but as this change has come upon us, it occurred to me that i wasn’t sending the best message to my tween girl. we DO have this, but we also need help, and to be able to graciously accept it, is what makes us stand taller at the end of the day.

trying to recognize, navigate, and embrace all of these things will ultimately help us grow together. but mostly, it will allow me to do the best i can at teaching her how to be a wonderful woman.

we are living right on the edge of: little girl meets her mature older self and i could not feel more lucky to be sitting in this glorious pocket of time.

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