July 30 10


She is on top of me, smothering me, seeking every inch of my affection; she doesn’t want to share me. She wants to cuddle. She wants me to brush her hair, to tickle her back, to massage her. She wants to talk about boys. She wants to go shopping. She wants me to watch her dance. “Mommy, look! Look! Lookatme! Mommy! Mommy!” She loves me so hard, sometimes it’s almost impossible for me to breathe.

And then the door to her slams shuts and “It’s official! You are the very worst mother in the entire world!” bounces off the walls of her room. She whines and cries and complains, but won’t look directly at me; I am the enemy.

I am her best friend.

I am the bane of her existence.

I am her favorite.

I am her least favorite.

She is a child in flux.

She’s still only nearlyten but she always forgets this. She wants to be an adult so badly, she can taste it. She would rather sit with the grownups and eavesdrop on our conversations than actually PLAY. Playing is for babies, Mom. She would rather watch American Idol or Project Runway than Wizards of Waverly Place and any of the Zack and Cody shows. She would rather shop in Justice than go to Build-a-Bear. She would rather watch movies about Vampires and Zombies than about Fairies and Princesses. She would rather wear solid bikini underwear than anything with a licensed character on it.

But sometimes I will catch her being a kid. Wearing silly bandz. Playing with Lego. Listening while I read Isabella a story. Dressing a Barbie. Watching Spongebob. Building sand castles at the beach. Wanting the colored sprinkles on her ice cream.

My heart sighs and I smile.

Because even though she’s trying so desperately hard to shed that little girl, she’s still in there. For now. And I’ll take it while I still can.

And I know this is true. Because my mother once had a fourth-grader-in-flux who so desperately wanted to be a teenager too, but you know, occasionally wore bows in her hair. Along with her shoulder pads and up-turned collars.

  1. You can definitely see how much she resembles you when you two are together. And I think she’s beating me at WWF right now, too.

    Comment by Avitable on July 30, 2010
  2. omg ali best picture ever!

    Comment by Gemini-Girl on July 30, 2010
  3. Your portrait photography is getting SO good. I love both of these shots to pieces and how they so accurately capture Emily’s personality!

    Comment by Camels & Chocolate on July 30, 2010
  4. Awww. I totally get it. My boy is like this too. I’m taking all the loving I can get.

    But hold on ’cause the hormones haven’t even kicked in yet.

    Comment by Jen Maier on July 30, 2010
  5. Wow, she looks just like you did!

    Are you saying I only get 3 more years of little girl before my now first grader starts to flux? *sob*

    Do you play WWF? Hit me up, my name is the same there.

    Comment by Hockeymandad on July 30, 2010
  6. She is your mini-me!! Beautifully written!!

    Comment by Allison Zapata on July 30, 2010
  7. This sums up Emily so perfectly! I didn’t go through this stage since I was a total tomboy. I should tell my mom she should be thankful for that!

    Comment by Kristabella on July 30, 2010
  8. Love this post…Perfectly captures the mixed feelings we all have about our kids growing up. (Hell, I have them myself and my dd’s only 4 months!)

    Just keep in mind that in, um (eight years? Ten?) it will get better. Till then, hold on, give her much more love than she’s willing to accept, and enjoy the ride…

    Comment by An ExtraordinaryLife on July 30, 2010
  9. Awww I love this 🙂 My daughter is seven and she seems so grown up for being so little still.

    Comment by Michelle on July 30, 2010
  10. What a beautiful girl (both of them).

    Comment by Amy on July 30, 2010
  11. My daughter just turned 6 and I’m glad she’s behind Emily because this will allow me to take notes. 🙂

    FYI, she asked for a training bra while we were out shopping yesterday. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even know what she was talking about, but even still, I didn’t have the heart to tell her she wouldn’t be needing one for another 12 years if she’s anything like her mother. 🙂

    Comment by alison on July 30, 2010
  12. man, sorry, I started singing Katy Perry after the first line….

    “‘Cause you’re hot than cold, you’re yes than you’re no, you’re in than you’re out, you’re up and then you’re down, you’re wrong when it’s right, it’s black and it’s white…”

    and oh. dear. god…. i just quoted a pop song to relate to your misery.

    please forgive.

    Comment by gorillabuns on August 1, 2010
  13. Holy upturned collar is RIGHT! 🙂

    My nearly 13yrold is on the same wavelength I’m sure.

    I live for the moments (much farther and fewer inbetween now) where she forgets how ‘old’ she is and I catch her playing with her siblings… sigh. How many more years of this do I have left?

    Oh yeah.. for ever.

    Comment by Carissa on August 2, 2010
  14. I adore this post, Ali; you write so truly about your kids, and you perfectly captured Emily with your words and gorgeous portraits. Love her, love you. xo

    Comment by metalia on August 2, 2010
  15. Love that second picture of her.

    And me, I was a late bloomer in all of that, not needing to be a teenager until I was one, and can only hope Pumpkinpie follows me in that!

    Comment by kittenpie on August 2, 2010
  16. I’m bracing myself for the day when my 6yo/mommy-is-everything girl changes. I know I’ll be so sad. Meanwhile, I’m already catching Mini prancing around in her bikini and wanting to wear lipstick.

    The pictures you take are simply gorge!… especially the subject. 🙂 xo

    Comment by Nenette on August 2, 2010

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