Shoe Strings and Heart Strings

This summer I have noticed a huge change in my daughter.

It started one day when she took it upon herself to teach herself how to tie her own shoes (omg… she reminds me of myself – I taught myself how to braid and make a ponytail in my own hair when I was 5 because I didn’t like the “bumps” that my mother made). I was so proud that my baby accomplished this milestone on her own – that kind of pride is earned and was a win for her self-confidence. I felt a pride for her that I will remember forever.

But then the sadness crept in… a few days later she asks me, “Mommy, should I not like princesses anymore?” This is going too fast for my liking! “Baby, you can like princesses forever,” I told her.

“But mommy, should I give my princess stuff to my sister?” she asked. 

“No, not until you have no more room for princesses… you will know when,” I replied.

How could we be at this point already? My precious little girl lost her baby teeth, taught herself to tie her own shoes, and now she wants to move on from princesses? Most mothers wouldn’t react this dramatically to such normal events in their daughters’ lives, and maybe it wouldn’t even make their “worry list,” but this is me… I savour the moments that my kids need me because I know all too well that all too soon my girls will go through the phase where moodiness creeps in. If I look at them the wrong way, they will get annoyed at me, my presence will annoy them and doors will be closed more often than open. I love to feel needed and wanted by them because the reality is that all our kids grow up and these little milestones are glimpses into our future. My girls will be independent, and I hope, with all my heart, that they will continue to need and want me around, even when they think I am “so not cool” (wait… I hope they will always find me cool!).

These are the growing pains of motherhood.

This is also part of the reason why I would like to add a third to our family. Yes, I realize that the answer to my pain is not to keep growing our brood, but being a mother was always my dream and I am not ready to close that chapter.

Of course, I realize I will always be “needed” in the background, but to be there for my girls and be THE source of constant motivation, support and love is something that I feel is an honour. And her milestones feel like little losses for me. Even though I know they aren’t “losses,” they truly are wins (we all strive to raise independent children who will one day soar), but for today, I am a little sad that my little girl is growing so quickly. Remember those first months when you bring your infant home and you feel overwhelmed? You feel like life will never go back to “normal”? I had a really hard time adjusting and I remember being hard on myself then too-I remember thinking, “How will I ever get my shit together??” And sure enough, I did… and just in time for us to welcome our second. Bringing her home also felt overwhelming to say the least. Now here I am, contemplating if we should do it all over again when we finally have reached some sort of life-balance, and my heart pulls at me to jump in and bring a third baby into our life.

Time will tell if that will be our story but, in the meantime, I have to accept what is… and that is that my baby is no longer a “baby” and she is on her way to becoming a little lady. Whether I am ready for it or not, I know she will be amazing.

Melany xx