Seems like only a few months ago that I was feeling you hiccup, my belly bouncing up and down with every movement. How did the time go so fast?
No...I wouldn't stop it, not even if I had the chance.
You are caught in the cusp between early childhood and adolescence. You strive toward independence, but like a baby bird not quite strong enough to fly on its own, you struggle. You're not quite tall enough to reach the top cabinet without a chair. You aren't quite ready for the stream of hormones that are beginning to hit your body. You aren't quite ready to stop calling me Mommy. (I'm glad for that one.)
Being your mom isn't always easy - you are strong-willed and you test your boundaries constantly. I'm a soft one and you know it. But you need me to be hard, and I'm getting better at that. I know that when 13 and 16 are looming, you will need my wall to be impermeable, no matter how you test me. You showed me what's to come with the spectacular tantrum you threw the other night. I remember those days myself: the crying jags, the hysterics, the slamming doors.
But, you are my little girl - the one who curls beside me like an apostrophe when we watch tv. The one, who when I reach behind me at a stoplight, still grabs my hand and squeezes it like you've done since age three. That's our thing.
Being the mother of an only child can be tricky, dancing around the spectre of co-dependency and trying not to make our relationship so symbiotic that I crush you.
As you get older, I will push you from the nest. It will take every ounce of self-control I have not to fly after you. But, as I watch you grow and make your own decisions, good and bad, I will remind myself that you are going to be double digits for the rest of your life. And that even though you'll always be my little girl, it's your own life to live.