This past weekend I went on my first real shopping trip with our oldest. She’s seven and in the past I’ve always picked out her clothes for her but lately I’ve noticed that I’m not always picking the right sizes. What used to be pretty easy now varies by store and even by style within the same store.
So Saturday morning we hit the stores on a mission to find summer clothes. As I watched her navigate the clothing racks I was amazed with how decisive she was about what she liked and what she didn’t. I’d noticed her preferences in clothes at home but didn’t quite realize how distinct a style she had developed. With one quick glance she immediately knew what she wanted to try on and what she didn’t.
As I snuggled with her in bed that night, I was struck with what an interesting stage I think the next few years are going to be. In so many ways they are still so young and in so many other ways, you start to see glimpses of their older selves. At many times during our morning, I felt like I was walking around with a teenager. Listening to her add the prices of things together in her head, answering her questions about how clothes move from being designed to made to sold in stores. Her eyes are wide open to the world around her – a far cry from the newborn I held in my arms seven short years ago.
Lately it’s the little things too. She suddenly knows more lyrics to the songs on the radio than I do. She has been taking guitar since September and last week showed me lyrics she had written to her first song. And you know what? It was actually pretty good. She and my husband went for a jog last week – not an ‘appease the kids and run up the block’ one either. A real ‘let’s each throw on our favourite music and do 2k’ together kind of jog. I’ve never been more surprised than the morning I hopped out of the shower and she presented me with a smoothie she had made for me. My husband wasn’t home and she had made it absolutely perfectly.
On the flip side, the little girl in her still shines through. We took the kids to Peggy’s Cove yesterday for the first time and she ran around with the same excitement and curiosity as her two younger siblings. She continues to love imaginative play, she’s happy to sit and play dolls with her sister and the word ‘underwear’ still makes her giggle.
I really think we’re moving into some interesting years. You can literally see the naiveté of the preschool and early school years leaking slowly out of her. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that she’s only seven. I feel excited about the conversations we’re able to have and everything we’re going to continue to be able to do together as she gets older. At the same time, I’m starting to realize that I am going to have to be consciously aware of how old she actually is so that we’re not encouraging her to grow up too fast.
It’s funny eh? When they’re a newborn you wish for them to get just a little bit older so that you can get some sleep or not have to be constantly ‘on’. Then they get to be in the three to five age range and you see them moving out of the toddler years and becoming preschoolers and you just wish time would slow down. Then they hit seven/eight and you’re excited for them to get even older but know you shouldn’t rush it.
What is it with kids and time? I think good ol’ Abe Lincoln may have had it right – “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”
Deanna is a Mom of three, wife, marketer and blogger – lover of travel, morning coffee, family time, belly laughs, good friends and uninterrupted showers! Follow her on twitter @DeannaCMiller