I'm not convinced this bear is adequately qualified
It was a far cry from the weekend before, when she had been running around in a fetching new party dress, the belle of her birthday sleepover. As she turned seven, and opted for a small gathering rather than a big party, and a green rather than pink outfit, I had begun to realise just how grown up she was getting. And since I’d been watching the parents on ‘Child of Our Time’ rather sadly explaining how their pre-teens really didn’t need them in the same way, thoughts of being dumped by my bigger baby weighed heavily on my mind.
I’ve always considered being a mother is like being caught up in the sickest love story ever. Here is a person that you would instinctively fight tooth and nail to protect, someone that you would die for. And to begin with your baby only has eyes for you. So, you fall hopelessly in love with each other, with everything beyond that barely existing. But if you do your parenting properly, the tiny, perfect bundle you brought into the world merrily leaves you. And you help teach that little turncoat all the things it will need to do just that. Every day of its life, your offspring gets less and less dependent until one day that ‘baby’, packs up its bedroom and leaves you altogether. And you are supposed to applaud each and every step on that journey outta there. Ouch!
Personally the bit I am dreading the most is when my little dreamer gets her heart broken. At the moment she’s so trusting of people and truly believes everyone follows ‘the rules’. I wonder if any young suitor will be safe from my vengeance if I see her sobbing uncontrollably face down on the bed. No seriously, I need a lawyer now to start planning my defence well in advance. I’m learning what I can from TV about forensic evidence already so I can cover my tracks adequately. A rainy day is great day to commit a crime for example because fingerprints are less likely to remain and footprints tend to get blurred (you can have that one for free). It rains a lot in England boys.
But of course I also want her to grow and develop. I want her to travel, and discover skills and talents way beyond those I ever have. I want her to study and love with a passion, to be healthy and happy, take risks and feel exhilarated. But I don’t want her out raving until dawn breaks, vomiting in gutters, wasting her energies on boys that aren’t worth it, trawling developing and dangerous countries and making some seriously bad decisions along the way. So I’m between a rock and a hard place. Oh, and I’m a massive hypocrite.
Even fairies have to grow up...
But last weekend she was definitely my baby again, wrapped up in her duvet on the sofa, with an ice lolly for the swelling, cheering up at the news the tooth fairy would probably rustle up a little something extra because of the trauma. When she went to bed, she wrote the tooth fairy a little note explaining what had happened, hopefully asking for a raise.Of course the tooth fairy wrote back in her teeny, tiny writing, leaving some magic fairy dust along with the bad luck bonus. And even though she came rushing into my bedroom at 6.20am the next morning to tell me all about it, as long as she still believes in fairies, I’m happy.
Do you long for the days when your child is less dependent – or do you dread an empty nest? Do you fantasise about a time in the not-too-distant future when you can take a ‘comfort break’ alone, but not want your babe to grow up too much too soon? Let me know I’m not the only one with mixed feelings in the comment box below!