My 8 year old turned 9 before i could stop her. And now she's one year away from the double digits. Of course she is thrilled about this in her childhood innocence as she races to be taken more seriously and get to an age when she can date. But Mom has mixed feelings and over the birthday party dishes on Sunday, a few tears mingled with the lavendar scented dishwater.
This year the party did not involve a bounce house, games, loot bags, party hats or adults lingering. It was a big girl, sleepover party with 5 friends, cute pyjamas, sleeping bags and movies with cute boys saving the world. How did this suddenly happen, I say? When my back was turned my darling girl started to mature and took tentative steps toward blending in with the stream of all the girls who are headed towards puberty one day. Always one to sit out the games of girlhood, my daughter has been the child who declines birthday party invitations, sits quietly while the other girl scouts noisily chase each other, gets kudos at school for eating her lunch in the cafeteria and not talking, whispers in public to not assume herself into any situation. But this weekend saw a change in my shy girl. She ran, she laughed, she became one of the girls. Seeing her get older is bittersweet because I want normalcy for her but fear loosing her devotion to me.
The birthday party transformation was a beautiful thing to watch as she gathered the girls around her to open presents, make faces, crack jokes and revel in their attention. Ah, sweetie...it's fun being a girl. Go for it!