I often see myself in her. We don't look alike. I have brown hair, hers is blonde. She's tall and lanky, and I was always on the shorter side. It's not because of our similar DNA that I see so much of myself in her, because really, we share very little. Instead it's because of everything she's trying to be right now, and everything she's not. I don't mean that in a negative way, not at all. I remember so clearly wanting to be grown up. I wanted so desperately to be older than I was. Her determination is not unlike my own. I remember the scheming and plotting with friends to arrange sleep-overs, and the thrill of excitement when our plans worked. I remember summers spent putting off homework and dreading the return of school. The excitement of the sixth grade is still so fresh in my mind.

I want to whisper in her ear and tell her it's OK to be a kid, and that growing up is something she'll have years to do; that she doesn't have to wear high heels around the house, and that the copious amounts of blue and silver eyeshadow can wait. But I know that will just lead to eye rolling and dismissal, it's a lesson we simply cannot learn until we've lived it. We look to the other side of the pasture and want to be over there, but we never want to be here. You never think to enjoy it until it's much too late. The truth is, some of my fondest memories come from those years when I could still count my age on two hands.

I am not old, not by a long shot. But I think we can all agree that there's something special about those years. If we could, we'd tell every little girl not to grow up too fast. It's in the back of the huge folder of responsibility we received upon entrance to The Big Girls Club. We know all too well the trials and tribulations that come with being a teenager, and I'm sure that there are a few things we wouldn't mind saying to our younger selves, if given the opportunity.

As I sit here typing this, there are two little girls upstairs giggling their way into the morning. They're watching Twilight and squealing with delight everytime Robert Pattinson comes on screen. The pink walls are adorned with posters of The Jonas Brothers and Edward Cullen. The corner is filled with rarely used toys that are much too childish to be played with by girls of such mature age. They are, afterall, nearly middle schoolers. It makes me smile to think of the fun they must be having, the secrets they must be sharing, and the bond that they are creating. I want to tell them to hold on to those memories and friendships as tight as they can, because so many of them come and go. I hope they remember the fun they had tonight when they are 15 and fighting over something silly. And if they go their seperate ways, I hope it's only to go to different schools. So few of my friendships survived into adulthood, but those are the ones I cherish the most now.

Eventually, her years will come, and she'll be watching TV while the next generation is upstairs swooning over the latest heart throb, sharing secrets in the dark, and giggling all night long. They will be trying so so hard to be older than their years will allow. While she may be tempted to roll her eyes and sigh loudly, she'll hesitate and remember all her own memories as they come flooding back to her mind.

And that will make her smile the warmest of all smiles.
5 Responses
  1. Z Says:

    beautiful post! and one i agree with wholeheartedly...

  2. Lovely.. Really struck a chord.

  3. Linda Says:

    Made me cry - again.

  4. really beautiful post. and so true.

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