mothering :: eight years in


there's a big shift happening these days.  I watch as she stretches into new territory, trying on different  things, seeing how they suit her.  different angles, different outlooks, different boundaries, different questions.  different ideas.  mostly, I still see her as my little girl. (because dolls and snuggles and the strategic and sometimes hours-long staging of calico critters and such- though I am saddened to say this is the year she has realized that not everyone wears a bonnet as their primary summer hat and she has requested we get something different.  ouch.  am I so naive to have thought she'd perhaps never come to that realization?)

now, if you'll please excuse me and allow me the much-needed nostalgia of staring at and sharing this photo from three summers ago:


so~ as I was saying.  mostly she still feels very much like my little girl.  but oh, there are hints of the adolescent within, and of the woman she will become.  funny how with each new phase I find myself mourning the passing torch less than I would have anticipated (the whole bonnet thing aside, maybe).  I suppose the fact that each stage comes with its own conveniently packaged bundle of new! exciting! things! helps to ease the transition and take a bit of the sting out of the inevitable bittersweetness.

we've had some tender moments lately when she has asked questions that I know made her squirm a bit- me, thinking my way through answering in the right way- which really, is any way that lets her know it is ok to ask me anything anytime.  reassuring her that we all fret that we are oddballs sometimes and that truly, really, we kind of all are so it is just fine.  more than fine.  in an effort to illustrate just how very normal all of this is I tell her embarrassing and awkward stories from my childhood (and sometimes my adulthood, because let's face it, it isn't as if the amount of awkward stories really took all that sizable a plunge after childhood...).  she usually gets a kick out of them.  and in funny little ways it glues us even closer together.

I am her mama.  but also her friend.  her guide.  and, of course, sometimes I am her student.  actually change that from sometimes to often.  I cringe a bit to admit how very often I find myself learning quite a lot about myself and how I am not, it turns out, as patient and laid back as I like to think I am.  I do think that parenting tends to highlight at times that side in all of us, but ooph-  sometimes I'd rather not see it so often.  sometimes I feel like I'm done learning about myself for a while now, thankyouverymuch.

but here we are, approaching the middle of her eight-year-old-summer.  as I am currently hosting my annual weeklong girls' garden and art camp this week, I find myself observing a whole gaggle of little girls in their 7th-9th summer and I must say, I do think that this 7-9 stretch may just be the glory days of childhood.


  1. This is a magical time! I also see the adolescent within, occasional eye rolls, more embarrassment when I'm goofy, sometimes hard on herself. I LOVE this age!

    1. oh the eye rolls! yes!
      it really is magical- such a fun mix of their little girl selves and the women they are becoming..... sigh

  2. So lovely as always. Advice please--my 10 year old is taking archery at camp. Does Claire like hers? What kind do you recommend?

    1. I appreciate your kind words, thank you~
      Hers is a youth bow made by Bear Archery. The one we got is called the "Wizard" and is for 7-10 year olds. They have many options available, and you can find them on Amazon. She really likes this one- before this we had a wooden one for her that was definitely more of a toy.

  3. oh, the bonnet! there are always these random little things that we miss more than others :) but i absolutely agree... the new exciting bits that come with the years really help make up for the things that they outgrow that i miss so much! i can't believe she's eight already! my son is turning fourteen this year. gulp. it's freaking me out a little bit. love the way you describe her changes! looking forward to more posts soon!!

  4. I love the Summer bonnet! You have an enjoyable blog. Thank you for sharing.


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