Today, at 7:11 am, my baby girl turned nine years old. NINE!
My beautiful N is me, inside and out. She looks like me; she acts like me; she is me in so many ways.
But she is not me, and whenever I see evidence of this, I stop and scratch my head and think to myself, wait a minute – that isn’t right. For instance, N is adventurous. She loves to plummet down a ski hill or ride her mountain bike down rocky terrain. She has a good sense of direction. She is interested in space. She is artistic. She is a lousy speller.
Because N and I are so alike, I feel a certain connection with her that I don’t share with anyone else. I only need to glance in her direction to understand and feel everything that she is feeling. When she is sad, I am sadder. When she hurts, I hurt more. When she is happy I am positively joyful. Being a parent to her is easy in some ways because I usually know exactly what she needs, but I also need to be very careful not to transfer some of my anxieties and fears to her – things that have shaped me from my experiences but that don’t need to affect her too.
N is a complicated girl. She is an old soul and looks and acts much more grown up than she is. She is perfectly content to be on her own, but is at ease with a small group of friends too. She already enjoys dressing in black and heading upstairs to her bedroom and closing her door for long periods of time. She feels everything very intensely. She is lovely, gentle, thoughtful, and introspective.
I am so very proud of my nine-year-old and I feel lucky to be her Mom. I learn from her every day and I am so enjoying watching her grow. I can already see in her the adult she will become; the adult who will be one of my very best friends, always.