I am taking pause. My breath seems to sneak away from me when I see the changes in my daughter. Never before did I think that "Tween" was something that described my daughter. When she turned nine, and someone called her that, it didn't make sense. I thought it was just a branding term companies used to market to a whole new set of potential customers. Only now, a few months away from eleven, do I fully understand what a tween is.
My little girl, who is still so small for her age, is sometimes ever-so-slightly changing, and sometimes not so slightly. Her feelings are flowing in a tornado and she can't always explain why she is crying. She spends more time in her room, to feel, or to feel less. She speaks so well, carries herself with such confidence and is so mature, and yet sometimes, she is still a child who just wants to be silly. She is now seemingly more aware of how people perceive her, and more concerned about how she is perceived.
She is embarrassed more often. She doesn't always want to play at the playground, and when her brother asks her to play with him, he doesn't understand why she won't. He comes and asks me, why she's in a bad mood so often. We are all getting lost trying to follow her these days. She herself, is confused by her feelings. This is the in between, not a little girl, not yet a teenager, somewhere in the middle. She pushes me away and then comes to me with her arms open, asking for a hug.
What I wouldn't give to hold her as a baby again. Just for a moment, to see her clasp her long baby fingers wrap around my hair and tangle us together. If I could feel the fullness of her cheeks. I can almost smell her downy wisps of hair, so I can't wrap my head around how she is ten going on eleven already. I can't comprehend, how she is changing before my very eyes. This little girl made me a mother, and I am so proud of who she is becoming, I just can't believe how fast we got here. I am taking pause.