Monday, April 2, 2012

Not so little any more

I was looking back through the blog the other day at pictures of when we first moved to the north from Florida.  Arlington was 5 - the age of Finley and Cainan are now.  There were pictures of her, with her small amount of remaining baby chub, helping her siblings onto a ride at 6 flags.  Her cute little face on the first day of Kindergarten.  I can hardly remember her voice at that age because it 4 years ago.
Can that really be true?  Can she really be 9 - quickly approaching being a decade old?  That little baby who never wanted to sleep (still needs very little) who always obeyed, who always wanted to please is now becoming a young lady?
She rolls her eyes at me, and gets the inside jokes we tell.  She can really help me, and does so well.  Tonight she put the laundry away for me and I watched in disbelief that I finally have a kid who can help with household chores and I don't have to go behind her and "do it again". 
The other night we were at the basketball game at her school.  She had been sitting with her teacher and her friends working the score board.  After her turn was up, she didn't come to sit with us.  As I watched her, she waved at me as she walked by with her friends.  But - in true Arlington form (and hopes because of the way Mat and I are raising her) - she came up and asked if she could sit with her friends.  We said yes, and gave our rules, but my heart broke a little when she chose them over us.
Silly I know.  I am so happy she has friends and that she wants to spend time with them.  But it was weird not having that ever lasting parent control we all feel over our kids.  I need to know where she is at all times, and I always do.  But this time - she disappeared ever so slightly from my sight into the crowd.  I turned to look at Mat, and he smiled a knowing smile and said she was fine.
And she was - but I wasn't.  I know she will make good choices, that I can't be with her every moment.  Or know that when I am not with her, she is with a trusting adult that helps with the choices she makes.  But this time it was just her and her friends.
After the game, we heard about a boy who wanted to let them down into the hallway that was closed during the game, and she said no because she knew it was wrong.  And she did come to see us before the game ended so that we could have her with us before the crowd dispersed.  She did exactly what Arlington always does -makes the right choice.  Follows the rules.  Shows that she is ready for the independence even if I am not.
Tonight Mat and she had a conversation about a girl in her class that is not helping with a group project.  This girl is a good friend of Arlington's, and she is concerned about how to handle the situation since they are being graded as a group and have to give a group presentation.  She had talked to her teacher, and has talked to the student, but things haven't changed.  She asked for advice.  We have always told her that no matter what the problem -she can always tell us, and we will work it out together.  That the right decision isn't always the easy one.  While this is something minor, we hope that she will continue to come to us when she isn't sure what to do.
That little girl is gone and has been replaced by a maturing young lady.  She has made us proud, and I feel that we are going to watch her grow into a conscientious, independent woman.

Now......if she could just rub off on Finley........

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