Thursday, August 9, 2012

Double Digits

Today is Rachel's 10th birthday.  Today her age is officially in the double digits.  She is very excited about this.  In her mind, it is a step closer to glorious teenagedom which means a step closer to freedom and independence.  I am not quite as excited.

According to the somewhat new parenting and educational terminology, Rachel is now a "tween," typically defined as "an adolescent between the ages of 9-12."  Read that definition again.  Notice anything missing?  What I noticed is that the word "child" is not included anywhere in that definition.  Furthermore, when I google the term, I am directed to articles on bullying, menstruation, puppy love, cell phone contracts, and internet safety.  In my head, I know all those issues and the conversations about them are right around the corner.  Some have already begun to happen.  But, in my heart, Rachel will always be my baby (so will the other two!) and it is difficult to let go of my vision of her as a child.

If I take a step out of my mommy shoes, though, and open my mind to the "tween" that Rachel is becoming, I am quickly amazed.  She has been a vegetarian for two and a half years now.  That is quite impressive for a fourth grader and takes an incredible amount of determination.  She also has an incredibly compassionate heart.  For two years now, she has given up birthday presents and asked for donations for the local animal shelter instead.  Rachel once sent the only dollar she had to a little girl with cancer whom she had never even met.  She set up a lemonade stand to raise money to save the whales and initiated a toy drive at her school this year.  She is also super smart.  She has made straight A's her entire school career thus far and reads like lightning.  She constantly spouts facts that leave me asking "how do you know that?"  Sure, she can be stubborn and she has a tendency to focus on the negative, but the bottom line is -  She is incredible!

Tween or not and double digits aside, I am one proud mama.  It is always hard to let our kids grow up, but I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this amazing, awesome, incredible kid.  I feel grateful and uncommonly blessed to be her mom.

Happy Happy Birthday, Rachel!!  Double digits are just the beginning for you.  You are going to do big things in this world, I'm sure.  You make me proud every single day and I love you more than you will ever know!!!!!

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Martha said...

Happy Birthday, Rachel! You sound like my kind of girl!

Lisa - isn't that tween nonsense crazy? I hate how we are trying to make our children grow up so fast. Last spring, we were shopping in that dreaded Tween Abercrombie (for shorts for Henry) and Georgia started looking at the clothes on the girls side. Each pair of shorts she held up were smaller than an envelope! I shook my head at every pair. No short-shorts for the nine year old! On the other side, my niece turned 15 this year and I keep waiting for her to stop wanting to run around with her younger cousins but she still hasn't. It's such a relief to know that even are proper teenager feels comfortable playing!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Hi Martha - I couldn't agree with you more! Rachel is very picky about her clothes. When you consider what she won't wear and what I won't allow, shopping is almost impossible. Kids are definitely growing up too fast these days!

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