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Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Rite of Passage

So my baby is finishing up her last year in Elementary school. Whoa. What?! But, but, she's my baby. 

When I look at her, I don't see a soon-to-be middle-schooler. I see my baby girl.



Or, a troll after a tornado.
Except my baby is no longer a little little girl. This Saturday she will attend her first dance. It's called a Rite of Passage dance and is put on by her school to celebrate her (and all fourth graders) graduation to middle school. It's a father-daughter and a mother-son dance. So, not only is she attending a you're-growing-up-dance, but she's taking her daddy instead of ME.
Fitting, since she's had him wrapped from day one.


I'm proud of what a little lady she has become, excited to see her all dressed up (trust me, this kid refuses anything girlie. How is it that the one that looks like me is such a tomboy?!) and...devastated.

I swear she just started Kindergarten last year. It's not possible for her to be hitting fifth grade!



It isn't the dance--I'm tickled this kid wants to go (in a dress! Did I mention she'll be in a dress?!)--but I'm not ready. When did this happen? Why did this happen? Who do I gotta hurt to make it stop? I don't want to share her with the world. She's my treasure to keep!

My Princess
So tell me, those of you who have faced this dilemma, how am I supposed to let her grow into her own person without falling apart? I just don't see me doing this gracefully!

31 comments:

  1. I think I told you about the time I was home sick from work, sleeping in bed. My cell phone rang, the number wasn't one stored in my phone. In my groggy state I answered it, and this man demands "Where are you?" Yeah, I'm not in the mood. Whoever this is is about to get an earful. "Who is this?" I demanded right back. And then he says, "Mom?"

    Yeah, that's right. I didn't even recognize my son's voice. Did it get deep overnight? I've laughed it off since, but it has haunted me.

    When did my baby get so big? Deep voice. Now shaving? Stop it already! Don't get me wrong, I want him to grow up to be a wonderful and productive man; but I miss the little boy who would climb up on the sofa beside me and snuggle against my side, wearing mismatched super hero costumes.

    So, there you are. I'm no help at all. Sorry.

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    1. Well you said it girl--you are no help at all! Lol. That is exactly how I feel. I want to see the woman she will be--I just don't want her to grow up and become her. Not yet. I miss those chubby, bitalicious cheeks. I miss being able to hold her on my lap. This is my Ms. Independent and I'm terrified that once she no longer needs me, she will never look back! My baby!

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  2. I hear ya! My oldest is graduating 8th grade this year, and my daughter is finishing 5th grade. Both definitely growing too fast than I want! I think this is why I baby my second grade son! I'm not ready for them to grow up!!!

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    1. Kelly, Why does parenting have to be so hard?! I remember when my kids were little and I was a steaming pile of psychosis (3 kids, ages 3 and under) and people would tell me to enjoy this age because it would pass so quick and I would miss it. I remember thinking OH HELL NO I WON'T! But I do. I miss it so much. I can't even watch videos of the kids at that age without crying. I hate it. :(

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  3. I can't help at all either. Sorry. My oldest is turning 13 in 3 days. What? Really, I'm gonna have a teenager. No. No way. He's still the baby that projectile vomited all over me.

    No way he is getting old enough to drive in 3 years or graduate in 5.

    And out of all my college friends, I'm the one with the oldest kids. Most had their first child around the same time I had my second. So I get to go through this with no one to commiserate with.

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    1. Projectile vomiting might make me wish he'd grow up sooner, Beth. LOL.

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    2. Actually the vomiting was only a few times. So it was easily over with. The youngest was the one that made a fountain every time his diaper was changed. Yeah, I was ready for him to grow into training pants.

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    3. Oh lawd, a teenager. Ack! I'm looking forward to those years even less than the tweens I'm facing. And my son peed on me first thing--doctor handed him to me and the next thing you now, he peed on my shoulder. :\

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  4. Andris,
    Your baby girl is gorgeous! I can see why you fell head over heels with those big brown eyes staring up at you. My baby girl is also finishing up fourth grade, but thank goodness we have one more year until middle school.

    When my son went to middle school, I was a nervous-wreck!!! I was so afraid of him being bullied by the other kids, because he had problems in fifth grade with mean kids. He skated through with minimal problems, and he made lots of friends. He's my groundbreaker, so I think that makes everything easier for me when my baby reaches the same milestones. I can't believe my son is in high school now. I think I'm in denial that he'll be graduating in three years. :(

    I try to focus on all the fun things we still have ahead of us instead of the things we are leaving behind. That helps me cope to some degree.

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    1. Good advice, Samantha. Really good advice.

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    2. Thank you, Samantha! I'm a tad biased but completely agree with you--she's gorgeous! Lol. I'm not so nervous about her heading to fifth (she is very confident and independent) as much as the fact that she is leaving behind a "child" stage of her life. I can't get that back! So no more talk of graduating! *sticks finger in ears*
      I like idea of looking forward to fun with them--it does soften the blow that comes with them growing up. :(

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  5. Oh, Andris. I feel for you. My daughter is graduating from kindergarten this year and I am not ready to have a "grader." Where did the time go?

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    1. Lily, if you can answer that question of where time went, I think we can figure out how to reverse it. :} Get on that! Lol

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  6. OMG! This totally works out, because I have a 3-year-old you can borrow!!! She's sweet like a little princess and does everything I say! She never says, "NO!" and she definitely doesn't pick her nose and eat her boogers! Just send me your address -- I'll overnight her!

    :) :) :)

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    1. Sweet merciful Jesus! I'm just looking to keep mine little not add to my brood! *makes mental note to NEVER share address with Jerrica* Bahaha!

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    2. Hahaha... What a perfect solution, Jerrica!

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  7. My Nephew Monster flew all the way from NC to TX by himself a couple of months ago. He happily waved goodbye to me as the flight attendant took him by the hand and led him to the plane, and as soon as he was out of sight, I bawled like a baby. He's not even my kiddo, so I don't have the first clue what to tell you about how to maintain your sanity as those sweet little babies who needed you for everything grow up and stop needing you so much.

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    1. Aww, that's so sweet you cried. :) My mom keeps telling me to put my babes on a plane one at time to go see her, but it terrifies me. There are just too many things that could happen when they're out of my sight like that! Ack, I'm freaking just thinking about it.

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  8. You picked the wrong week to ask! I'm trying very hard not to be Clingy Mom. It's not easy!

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    1. Aww, I bet! I saw your post about oldest. I don't look forward to facing that myself. :(

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  9. Oh, I went through a total nightmare of the empty nest syndrome last year, Andris, because my twenty year old son has moved out and my sixteen-year-old didn't want to move to the new city with me and chose to stay with his dad so he can stay in his school. So I only get to see them on the weekend and for summer. It's been a very tough year hence the reason I've been MIA for so long. I can't give you advice as I'm still getting used to the idea that my oldest will never return home to live me, that he'll never be "little" again, and he'll never really "need" me to do anything. He can now do it all.

    I call him sometimes just to offer to do something for him just so I can "feel" needed sometimes. I look back on all those times I told him "get it yourself, you're a big boy" and kick myself. Why didn't I do more? Why didn't I do this or do that? I mean don't get me wrong, he's grown into a really fine, responsible young man. I did a wonderful job as a mom and I know it. But I wish I had held him longer, kissed him more and all those times I wished for a ten minute break "away from the rat race" I think I should have stuck it out. Because now even with my 5yr old home, my house feels empty. When you're used to having five people at home and now you're down to three, it's tough.

    My tips are enjoy every single second. We don't realize how quickly twenty years goes by.

    Stay busy at times when they're not with you. I've started scrapbooking to document our lives with pictures. It keeps me a little busy and I get to remember all those wonderful times.

    Take a ton of pictures. I thought I had too many at one point and now I realize I didn't take enough!

    And my last piece of advice is talk to them...about everything. Even what you're feeling. My oldest kids have become my best friends. We talk on the phone for hours at times and they call me almost every day or through FB everyday. And we just talk. If you don't build that kind of behavior when they're young you won't have it when they're older. Plus talking about it helps both you and your little one a) get closer and b) see things from the opposite perspective.

    You'll get through it but I can't stress it enough, enjoy every second. It's gone before you know it. And if all else fails, eat chocolate. I have been through a ton or chocolate this year. It's been rough but every day it gets a little better. And seeing him open and run his own business helps me "see" what a truly good thing I did because he's now a wonderful man, a productive addition to society, and in the end he'll always be my first baby. =D

    Good luck. We can cry together if you like. I can always use a shoulder lol.

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    1. Suzie, The thing I fear the most is not appreciating the time I have with them now--because some times it's hard to stop and enjoy it when all they do is fight with each other, make messes, fight me over homework, etc. And yet, I know I'll miss this so much when it's gone. :( I like the idea of talking with them though. I'm really good at talking. Lol. And I want to foster that openness with them so it's there when they need it. And definitely when I need it. :)

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    2. Suzie,
      No matter how old you get, you always need your mom. That never changes. :)

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  10. Oh Andris,
    What a touching post. You made me flash-forward seven years to the end of elementary school...and it's not a place I'm ready to be. The cliche, 'it goes so fast'...is one of those god-awful cliches but it's so, so true. I don't have any advice for you but I can certainly appreciate the struggle you speak to, even though I'm not there--yet.

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    1. Thanks, Christi. I'm so proud of her and yet, I want to put her in a box and lock her up. ;} The worst part about that cliche? You have to learn that hard way how true it is. You don't truly understand until your baby is no longer your baby. :( Boo!

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  11. Oh god, think how I feel with a daughter who is 19. How can that be, since I can remember being in college. Just know that as long as you give he rlove and don't try to be her best friend, just a friendly ear she will always be your little girl. My daughter still cals me to chat and we are FB friends and Pinterest buddies. Evenher roommate friended me (I felt so cool, :P )
    But seriously, enjoy it all. I miss it.
    And last night she sent me a text that said "Just Freak Out and Call Mom" That says it all!!

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    1. Nancy,
      Ackk! I can't even think of 19 yet! Especially with this one because she will be out the door before I can say bye. I love that she's driven and independent, but nooooo! She would assure you that I'm too mean to be her friend. Lol. And I'd have to agree. :)

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  12. Oh gosh! My oldest just turned 9 so we still have a little time left before middle school. But my youngest is finishing Kindergarten this year. *sniff*

    UGH! Where *did* time go?!

    Hugs, Mama Bear!

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    1. Marquita,
      Middle school is right around the corner--brace yourself! I'm not so upset about the youngest growing older as the oldest--I've already lived through two passing those ages, so eh. :) It's the new territory ahead of me that I'm terrified about! O-O

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