A couple weeks ago, she came home from school and told me she didn't want me to fix her hair in pigtails anymore. Instead, she was only going to wear headbands. When I asked why, she said one of her "friends" had told her that pigtails make her look like a baby and first graders aren't supposed to look like babies.
I think my heart broke into a thousand pieces.
After a while, though, I began to think about it a little more clearly. You see, she IS my baby. She is the youngest of my children; the last one to go through all the firsts; the only one that still climbs up in my lap for snuggles from time to time; the only that, up until that day, would dare to let me put her hair in pigtails - ever.
Honestly, there are times when I think "Why can't you be more independent?" Like when I am trying to get all three girls out of the shower/bath or when I am trying to get all of them out the door to church. Thinking back, her older sisters were more independent by the age of six than Emily is now. They had to be because when they were six I had at least one younger, needier child to tend to.
On the other hand, however, I am in no hurry to get rid of her blankies. I adore the way she sucks on her tongue when she sleeps. I love when she climbs in my lap and plants a big, wet kiss on my cheek. I am sad that, having reached a size 7, I can no longer buy her the cute dresses she loves so much, but, instead, have to shop in the "big kids" section. When we walk together, I still reach for her hand and I still find myself saying "Be Careful!" often. And, I still like putting her hair in pigtails!
|Oh, the cuteness!|
In light of this recent event, though, I can't help but wonder if I'm holding her back?? Am I encouraging her to stay dependent and immature?? Do I really want her to grow up??
I actually look forward to the future and am anxious to see what life holds for my girls (in due time). Careers? Husbands? Children of their own? I have no desire to have anymore children and can't even imagine doing the pregnant or newborn stage again.
But, maybe, just maybe, I am subconsciously clinging to the last little bit of baby I have left in my sweet Emily. After all, she may not always be a baby, but she will always be the baby in our family. Even when she's a grown woman, she will forever be my baby, as will her two older sisters.
Maybe I am holding her back just a bit. But, you now what?? Maybe that's o.k. There will be plenty of time for independence, mature fashion choices, and headbands in the future. For now, I'm going to hang on to my "baby."
Here's to pigtails, and blankies, and sloppy, wet kisses!! I hope they last
just a little bit a whole lot longer!
To quote Taylor Swift (who I would rarely quote) . . . . . . . . .
"Oh Darling, don't you ever grow up!"