My daughter is a genius. No, its true. She has had a rough week; school, reports, soccer, science projects. We have been letting her slide on chores and I have even "helped" with her homework. ("helped": aka as staying up until midnight coloring a map and a picture which should not be worth as many points as the actual research and report itself, just saying. . . ) So, on Saturday after all the soccer games I decided to help her clean her room. We had several instances during the week when she was nearly late because she couldn't find what she needed. I discovered that she was in such a hurry that things were shoved into the incorrect drawers and she had lots of books, clothes and toys she had outgrown. Therefore, on a late Saturday afternoon we tackled her room.
I started by shoving everything out of her closet onto the floor. Then we sorted. If found dresses 2 sizes too small, tap shoes from when she was 5 years old, 2 Minnie Mouse purses, the list goes on. I set to work packing up too-small clothing when she burst into tears as I packed away her favorite blue dress (well, all the dresses are her favorite). She had a break down. It won't be her last.
"I hate this. Why do I keep growing? I love that dress and it doesn't fit anymore. And why do all the stores make their clothes differently. Some of my clothes are size 8 and others are size 12. Why do they do this?! I want to keep all my clothes. I don't want to give them away. Its not fair."
Be honest. Raise your hand. How many of you have felt exactly that way? I have. For my entire life. She has discovered it at 9 years old. I hugged her and I laughed, not at her mind you, in the I-know-exactly-how-you-feel-way. And I told her so. I told her she could go up to my room right now and find size 4's and size 10s in my closet and they both fit. I told her I would buy her new clothes and that I wouldn't throw away her old clothes. I would save them for her little sister.
She yelled at me for a long time. Then she told me how her friends had been making fun of her for wearing dresses and skirts. I let her yell at me. Sometimes after a long hard day, week, month we need to just yell and cry. I cleaned her room. I fed her dinner and gave her a bath. She was calm. I hugged her again and told her I understood and I would always be there to listen to her. We talked about how to deal with the rude girls at school.
I am simply amazed at how grown up she is on a daily basis. She is dealing with a cranky teacher and crazy reports and homework. On the soccer field she is regularly kicked or hit by the ball and is covered by mud. It is up to her to tell the coach or the ref, not me, when she is done and when she can't do it anymore. Its not my job. I am not even allowed on the field to comfort her when she is hurt. She has to wipe her tears and soldier on.
But at night, in the very wee hours of the morning, when I go into her room to make sure she is covered, she lays under her favorite blankets, curled in a ball, holding her doll. Her doll. No matter how grown-up or big she is on the field she is still a little girl, a child, deep down inside.