I have a 12 year old daughter. She is the youngest of my three girls – my last “tween” year, my last middle schooler, my last whiff of innocence.
She sings in the shower. It may not seem like a big deal, but very soon, the music she listens to will become “deep” and have meaning beyond what my naive heart thinks she should understand. But the music in the shower is still light and fun and Bieber-y.
She spends thirty minutes in the shower, depleting the hot water supply in the house, and may still come out without the top of her head wet. I frequently send her back to wash her hair, brush her teeth, pick up her dirty clothes. It won’t be long until she’s showering with purpose. She’ll want to apply makeup to that clean little face. She’ll want her thick, beautiful hair to be the shiny envy of her friends. She’ll want to smell good to catch the nose of someone she likes. The room – well, if experience is any indication, it will have dirty clothes strewn about for at least an abundance of years to come.
I’m already seeing things that accompany the teen years. The “I’ll just have yogurt for dinner” attempts to control what she perceives to be a paunch. The trials and tribulations of painting fingernails that I still imagine as so tiny, the brush barely fits on them. Debating whether she looks better tucked or untucked.
It moves so fast, it makes your head spin. Moms tell you all the time to hug your babies, appreciate the peas that get raspberried all over you when you try to feed them, don’t be in a rush for the walking and talking and the independence. Believe them. Sniff their tiny heads a little longer, snuggle when they have the sniffles, read one more bedtime story.
Listen when they sing in the shower.