HOT and COLD.
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 aÂ licensedÂ 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.