Saturday, April 17, 2010


1 c : to close and open the eyes involuntarily
also, the amount of time it takes from your baby to turn into a young woman

A brought home her recital costume today. Her class is dancing to Gustav Holst's Mars as the planets. A is Neptune (which she finds very fitting since K is dancing in the recital as a penguin. According to A, this is perfect because, "Neptune is a cold planet and Neptune's sister is a penguin!").

Her costume, which I had not seen on her until today, is beautiful. But it's also a costume for a young woman, not a little girl. It is completely appropriate (I would expect nothing less from her dance school), but it's definitely the most grown up costume she's ever worn.

When she tried it on for us today, I thought, "I blinked and she grew up." She looked so poised, so excited, so... grown. While this is exciting, it's also a bit terrifying. I've had ten years of parenting little girls and while I am far from an expert in it, I mostly know what works for each of my daughters and mostly understand who they are.

That is all about to change. Because I know my ten year old A as a girl and she is transforming before my very eyes (or during the blinks of my eyes) into a young woman. Her arms are graceful, her eyes twinkle mischievously, her legs go on forever. She's still the A I know and love. She'd still rather curl up with a book than plant flowers. She still drinks water with every meal, declining any other liquid offered. She still keeps most of her thoughts to herself. She still has a good sense of humor, but it's an increasingly adult one.

So what now? How do I parent her well in these uncharted waters? How do I help her navigate the minefield that is adolescent friendship? How do I help her continue to dream when adulthood tries to anchor her more and more into the here and now?

I guess I'll do it the same way I've done it until now - carefully, day by day, asking for wisdom all the while. And, as much as possible, without blinking, so as to not miss a moment.

If you live in Nashville and would like to see A, B and K dance, their recital is Friday, April 23rd from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at West End Community Church, 235 White Bridge Road. There is no admission cost, but a love offering will be received. Feel free to e-mail me with questions.

1 comment:

Variations On A Theme said...

Oh, she's so beautiful! I have these same thoughts. I wish I could come to the recital. I'll be in M'boro...