Leah will be nine next month. Pardon me while I hyperventilate a moment. Actually, it’s not all that surprising. I have never been that “Where does the time GOOOOO…?!” mom with any of my kids. There is very little I don’t remember about their years, so having Leah turn nine is just right in my mind and my heart. I look at her now and I see traces of the little girl she was, but more and more I see the teenage face to come.
She has gone through a transition becoming a big sister. Both kids are old enough to do things with, to play together for stretches at a time mostly unsupervised and can handle more responsibilities. Leah is actively taking initiative to do more “grown up” things. She made breakfast for both of them yesterday happily and successfully. Husband had to be restrained from running in the kitchen to supervise, but I knew she’d be okay.
Part of being almost nine means I have more expectations of her now. Sometimes that means teaching her to ignore her little brother’s taunting. Sometimes that means riding her for not getting ready on time. Sometimes that means she gets blamed for things she may or may not have had a hand in. That little brother of hers – he’s a piece of work.
Sometimes I’m too hard on her. I don’t expect her to be 11, but sometimes I don’t always remember she’s almost nine. Sometimes I forget that she likes to play and cuddle, too – that three year olds don’t have that market cornered. Sometimes I give her too much leeway, sometimes not enough.
She and I are all at once quite alike and radically different. I’m not sure what part is harder. But I think as we get ready for Nine we’ll find some time to enjoy the easier parts. Sometimes they’re hard to find in the frustrations of day to day life, but sometimes it’s worth the hunt.