Metamorphosis

“Momma what does metamorphosis mean?” she asks me.

Head buried in her book.

My eyes trained on the road in front of me.

“It means to change or grow in a dramatic fashion, like the butterfly from its cocoon” I tell her.

I try to explain more but she interrupts.

“Okay Momma I got it. Don’t need anymore”.

Just like that the moment is lost but I can’t stop thinking about her question.

I want to tell her that she on the cusp of adolescence is the definition of the word.

I watch her everyday moving away from those things that defined her as a little girl and marching straight forward into a new world.

No more dolls or dress up clothes. Cartoons are a thing of the past.

She spends her days reading her vet books and talking about the horses she loves.

Long gone are coloring books and cardboard boxes made into playhouses.

She facetimes with her friends and does homework on a computer.

Once upon a time she would crawl into my bed each night, nestle in close and tell me she was afraid of the noises outside her window.

Now she sleeps in until 9 and remarks about those noises inside of the house that keep her from more hours of slumber.

Desperately I want to press the pause button.

Hold on to these days where she still longs for my voice to be the last she hears before she falls asleep, where I can ease her worries by simply telling her “momma will handle it”.

These years of parenting, I am finding are some of the hardest. Not physically hard like the years of changing diapers and little sleep, when your body belonged to your child. No these years are mentally trying as your head encourages you to give them wings but your heart wants nothing more than to keep them in your arms.

I cried yesterday when she brought home a form for me to sign.

Right there in front of her I cried over a piece of paper. It requested her full name for inclusion on the 5th grade tile that would be placed in the entryway of her elementary school to remember the graduating class.

She laughed hysterically at my tears and then excused herself to use the bathroom.

She emerged a few moments later, the remnants of tears on her cheeks as well.

Maybe she’s not in such a hurry.

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Perfection

At Sunday brunch  Sidney was reflecting on her problems with another adult whom she felt wasn’t “keeping promises”. As I was attempting to guide her through it I explained that adults make mistakes too and not everyone is perfect. She countered with “But Momma you are perfect. You never make mistakes and you always say what’s right”.

Bam…

And there it was laying on my heart like a ton of bricks.

This notion that my child believes me to be perfect.

Ironic as I had just had an email exchange with an old friend where that same word was central to the conversation.

How wonderful that my child can see through it all to find the perfection inside of her momma. But what if it’s only because I am not showing her all of me?

Does she not know what the face of failure looks like?

Has she not seen me grovel; say sorry to those I have wronged; asked forgiveness for sins committed?

In my strive for authenticity I realize I cannot do it within a bubble, every few days of the week or when only certain people are in my presence. It has to be an all in approach. Even with my children.

So for Sidney I offer the following.

Sid-

I love that you think I am perfect.

But I too, like the grown up who wronged you, make mistakes every day (almost hourly).

This weekend alone –

I’ve spent too much time on my iphone

I ran into the garage wall (again). I don’t want you to notice because I know you will tell Uncle David who spent hours repairing the last hole I made.

I lied to Audrey on Saturday night when I told her I would sleep in the middle. I slept on the left side of the bed as I always do. Not sure why I couldn’t just be honest with her in the first place.

And finally, I had a cup of coffee….

I’m trying really hard baby.

But perfect I am not.

How about I share more of my failings?

And, for the record, you should know that you my dear are perfect……

All my love,

Momma