Little Enigma

Posted by on September 18, 2008

About once or twice a year, I find myself writing about my how quickly my babies are growing up. I know it’s a well-worn path in the mommy blogosphere but I find myself there once again and I simply cannot suppress the urge to put my melancholy into words.

My daughter is eight now. Eight. When I was a kid, I knew girls that were getting boobs at nine. Boobs. Breasts. Puberty. Nine.

I often find myself wondering how much longer it will be before she rejects me altogether and retreats into her secret tween world where moms are hopelessly lame and most unwelcome. I shudder and feel slightly sick thinking about it.

Last night, my husband and I were musing at how she has really blossomed this year; really come into her own, so to speak. Even her Brownie troop leader noticed it at the first post-summer meeting. Theoretically, this is a good thing and yet, sitting on the porch, I actually cried about her growing up and becoming this, this…person. It’s silly, I know.

She’s something of an enigma to me, my daughter. She’s similar to me in so many ways and yet so different. Sometimes I wonder if this is, simply put, the way of the mother-daughter relationship.

Interestingly enough, however, I find that as she matures, there is much more for us to share. Last weekend we watched “The Devil Wears Prada” together. The weekend before that we watched “Little Women.” I was secretly thrilled that she was interested enough to sit down and watch with me. It gave me hope that maybe we aren’t so different after all.

In any case, I’m working on trying to keep her close to me, to build a bridge between us that will withstand pubertal mood swings, teenage tantrums and any other unforeseen curveballs.

It’s not as easy as it sounds. Breaking old habits and trying to incorporate new, more effective ways of relating to my kids takes a certain amount of discipline, which I don’t naturally possess. I just hope I can keep it up. This growing-up thing is agonizing to me, at times. Dealing with a sullen, distant pre-teen child in the near future would probably send me over the edge…

On the same topic, I’ve been reading a book called “Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers.” Peers aren’t yet an issue for us but I’m reading it because it was recommended to me by Cristina, my partner over at Green Mom Finds. This book has helped me to understand the nature of children in ways I never did before and it suddenly all seems so obvious. *smacks head*  I won’t bore you with the details but I highly, HIGHLY recommend it.

…………………….

Have you noticed I’ve been away from the computer a lot the past week or two? Not much blogging happening and almost no twittering… It’s AMAZING how much stuff you can actually get done when you pretend blogs don’t exist — like finish the other three books in the Twilight saga AND start reading the partial draft for book five.

Is there something wrong with me (like severe arrested development) that though I’m a grown woman, I STILL enjoy “young adult” fiction?


39 Comments

  • Back off girl, Edward is MINE (still in New Moon but I’ll catch up soon – I’m also not in the ‘sphere much lately). So no judgement here, just shared love.

    ANYHOW – thank for the book reco – I need to figure this out before I’m rejected by Gigi. I know if you recommend it, you’ve put a lot of thought stamping your name to it.

  • divrchk says:

    The movie release is Nov. 21. It got moved up! http://www.twilightthemovie.com/

  • Serena says:

    It’s not weird to enjoy young adult books! Okay, I don’t read them myself, but I know that feeling you’re talking about…I used to read Sweet Valley High….*sigh*….What I wouldn’t have given to be Elizabeth or Jessica Wakefield! LOL

  • Megan says:

    The puberty distance Oh-my-GAWD-Muhaaawm thing doesn’t have to happen. I was a totally horrible, please MoTHERRR don’t talk to me in public type of teen (granted, she was utterly embarrassing so I was entirely justified) so with my daughters I tried to stay a few steps back, quietly, so they could ignore me or not as they chose when we were in public. Instead they dragged me up, introduced me to their friends… generally acted like sweet, delightful people whom I enjoyed (and still enjoy) thoroughly. I’d love to take credit but I think it says a heck of a lot more about their characters and… in hind sight… of mine as a teen.

  • Aprylsantics says:

    It’s so weird when blog posts talk to me.

  • Ironic that you would mention a growing daughter and Twilight in the same post. My daughter, a full-blown ‘tween at 12, has been talking about this book series. I need to do more research on it (perhaps read them myself), but she is curious and repulsed at the same time. She doesn’t get the whole vampire fascination.

    But, I digress.

    The point is, despite the fact that she loves spending more time alone, she and I have been spending some quality time together, really conversing about sensitive and important things like current events and human sexuality. Mainly, of course, hers since she is right on the cusp of puberty. Since she’s in middle school and spending more time away from me and on her own, I had to warn her against boys who would “encourage” to experiment with caressing, trying to tell her it’s not “real sex.” She didn’t really want to talk about it, but I told her that it was important. I stressed that if she felt comfortable talking to me about stuff like that, then she could talk to me about anything.

    She visibly relaxed. Now she comes to me about anything and knows I won’t yell at her but will talk in a calm, rational manner.

    She’s getting her answers, and she’s got a mom she can trust.

  • You can have cold, perfect, slightly boring Edward if I can snuggle with warm, cozy, hilarious Jacob ;)

    I have a 2 year old daughter so I’m going to use that as an excuse to not knowing there is another book coming in the series! And that the movie is coming out so soon! You have made my day.

    Also, do you remember when you’re daughter was 2 that she screamed and tantrumed and gave you ‘the look’ and you immediately got a sense of what the teen years would look like? Cuz that’s where I am now. -sigh-

  • Cathy says:

    I dread the teenage years, and am not sure how to handle them. I’ll have to get that book.

  • lynette says:

    I’m going through this too. My daughter and I have a relationship that’s changing. We’re doing stuff we couldn’t do before because she was “too young” and luckily, she’s still wants to talk about everything with me, and I just try not to freak.

  • Chris says:

    My wife does her best to have regular conversations with our two daughters. She’s also very good at giving them their space…

    We went through some difficult times with out eldest daughter but we survived through it because we vowed not to give up even at times when it was just easy to do.

  • Tuesday says:

    I dread the teen years because my daughter who is only five already acts like a teen!

    I will have to get that book, thanks for the recommendation.

  • kittenpie says:

    I think both HBM and Bub & Pie have been really into those books, you could try them!

    And yes, I worry, too, about navigating keeping my daughter close without tromping on her too hard. It’s a difficult line,t hat’s for sure.

  • Jennifer says:

    I haven’t read these Twilight books–but I’m hearing about them everwhere! I will definitely have to read them one of these days.

    My oldest son is 14 and so far, so good! I feel like things haven’t really changed w/ our relationship as he hets older–I hope it can stay that way.

    I’m new to your blog–I really like it!

  • Yeah, kids grow up, I’m a little sad to see my littlest one turns 5 soon….WTF happened?

    I bent to the peer pressure, maybe my mom should have read that book sooner, and I too started the Twilight series…only finished first book though, so give me time. I long for the days when I could dream about the hunky hero and believe in his forthcoming appearance in my life. Loves the hubs, but no Edward.

    Oh, and I’m not going to stop nagging you about a book signing…do it!

  • Lela says:

    I know what you mean. My daughter is eleven and we’re already hit that monthly hormone rush, but we are surviving it. My advice, keep lots and lots of chocolate on hand!

    Oh, and when my daughter got real boobs (not the triple A kind), I took her to Victoria Secret for a bra. She loved that!

  • My daughter’s the enigma, and I’m the oxymoron – both thrilled to bits and scared shitless.

  • Maria says:

    That’s the final straw: I’m ordering those damn books today.

    And now I’m deathly afraid of my children growing up any further. LOL

  • Marilyn says:

    Thankfully, I have quite a few years before I need to worry about my daughter. Even then, it doesn’t feel like “enough”.

    And re: Edward… *drooooool* I’m partway into Eclipse and I am WITH you on being completely into these books. I will so be at the movie theater (probably alone!) on 11/21/08.

  • just started book three.. I am sucked in… pun intended

  • jen says:

    It happened to me. One day, she was sporting missing teeth and the next day thinking about a bra. Eight, nine – the last of the little girl years anymore. Approaching 10, I was thinking I had four more years until we made a transition from little girl to adolescent. Just wasn’t so. I appreciate this post.

  • Daisy says:

    I read all kinds of young adult fiction. I used to excuse it as part of my job (6th grade teacher), but since I’ve started teaching 4th grade I still read this genre. I could plead the excuse that I’m on the library’s committee to handle book challenges, and I need to keep up on all the controversial literature — yeah! That’s it! So hand over The Golden Compass and no one gets hurt.

  • Glad I’m not the only one who enjoys some teenage chick lit! Sometimes, you just need a break.

    Also glad to hear you are finding a way to relate to your 8-yr-old. I have some trouble sometimes with my 4 yr-old. Hope it improves!

  • jennster says:

    my neice just told me yesterday that i HAD TO READ the twilight books! but they’re about vampires?!?!?! are they awesome?!

  • When I write a post about how I can’t believe how quickly my daughter is growing up, I start thinking about how I hope I never have to write a post about how she stuffed her bra. Because by the time she is at bra stuffing age, I’ll bet I won’t be allowed to blog about that. It seems that I’ve been writing about my daughter growing up a lot lately, I guess because school started.

  • sunny says:

    I know how you feel, my daughter is 9.

  • Jaime says:

    Dont be anxious about the tween-teen stage. As long as you communicate with your daughter – which is what I have found to be key – things will be fine. And you HAVE to expect them to freak out over nothing, have fits over little things, and be weirded out by you wanting to be TOO close to them…

  • This time with your daughter will fly by so quickly you’ll
    not believe it. So preparing and staying in touch with all her issues is so good. My daughter is 42 and everyday I ask myself where and how did all of this get away from me so quickly.

    Dorothy from grammology
    grammology.com

  • SB says:

    As a high school teacher librarian, I can assure you that today’s YA literature is leaps and bounds BETTER than it ever has been in the past. So, the fact that you love it just means that you are young at heart and enjoy reading quality books! :o) PS…I heart Edward too!

  • Tabitha says:

    I had to respond because I feel the exact same way! I picked up the first book a couple of weeks ago and read it in a day. And it left me with all of these strange feelings – like I knew the characters or something. I even found myself looking at the movie websites trying to figure out if Robert Pattinson will be a good Edward (i’m definitely thinking yes on that). It’s so funny how you can get so involved that you think about the characters throughout the day even though your brain tells you they’re not real. strange, isn’t it? http://www.fromsingletomarried.com

  • Mirinda says:

    Oh, I feel the same way about my daughter, who is about to turn 7. I cannot stand the thought of her going thru the tween years and rejecting me!

    A great book I just got is ‘Mom’s Everything Book for Daughters: Practical Ideas for a Quality Relationship’ by Becky Freeman. It has a whole list of movies to snuggle up and watch together, btw :)

  • Gidge says:

    Don’t feel bad about the young adult fiction…..I accidentally read The Sisterhood of the Travelling pants – someone LOANED it to me, and I kept thinking – man – this is really a weird easy read……..
    duh.

  • worldmomma says:

    Thanks for the interesting post and the book recommendation. With a 9-month old baby, I’m years away from him turning away from his parents and toward his peers. But I imagine it will be a difficult period to navigate as a parent and it’s always helpful to gather knowledge ahead of time!

  • Staci says:

    Hi, I just tried to e-mail you with a request for help with designing a new blog, but the e-mail didn’t go through for some reason. Could you e-mail me at sls27@aol.com if you are still accepting work and I’ll forward the specifics? Thanks!

  • I’m right there with you with the 8-9-year old daughter/teenager/woman thing – not to mention the fact that my son is BEC (a derivative of Edward C. of which you speak). Seriously.

  • Velma says:

    This is exactly where I am with my daughter these days – trying to let go of old patterns and forge new ones that will carry us through the next few years.

  • Jodi says:

    I MADE one of my IRL friends order the books so she can come with me to the movie theater. I would definitely go by myself, but I’d much rather have another person with me!

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