Sunday, September 11, 2011

"The Best Substitute For Experience Is Being Sixteen" -- Raymond Duncan

Willow started fourth grade last week.  It's pretty amazing how quickly time has passed us by.  I can't believe she will be ten years old in December.  She is getting so grown up!  I'm so proud of her and how smart she is.

I think Willow is very people smart.  She is really really good around people.  We can go to a new place filled with people she's never met, and she will be perfectly comfortable, gabbing with adults and practically having them eating out of her hands.  She smiles a lot, she's funny, and she's a bubbly little girl.  It amazes me that she can be so grown up and yet so child-like all in the same kid package.

When I was little I got along great with grown ups, too.  I remember feeling comfortable talking with them, but like Willow, I read a lot, and as a 4th grader had the vocabulary of a high school aged kid.  Maybe she gets that from me.  Although, as I look back on it, I don't think I conversed with the adults or bigger kids so much as just listened to them.  I listened, observed, and learned.  Willow doesn't really do that.  She listens and observes what people do (damn, but sometimes I wish she wasn't so observant) but she gets right in there in the thick of things, too, whether it's with adults, older kids, kids her own age or even younger kids.

There's a downside to this sometimes, though.  Lately she seems to be developing the words and attitude of a teenager, but she still has the maturity of a child and doesn't understand the consequences of what she says sometimes.  This weekend she has shown more attitude to me and her father than I have ever seen.  Or, perhaps she does understand the consequences, but she lets her anger and emotions gets the better of her so she doesn't really care.  Not at the time.  She's impulsive.  Impulsive is something I never was.  She probably gets that from her daddy--Micah has no patience and wears his heart on his sleeve.

I'm wondering if this is a sneak peek to what things are going to be like when she is a teenager.  Or worse, this is just the tip of the iceberg and it all starts now.  Because if that's the case, I'm gonna need help.  I don't need a sixteen year old masquerading around as a nine year old, thank you very much.  And when she does finally reach sixteen, gods help me. 

Thank goodness she is still young enough to believe that we are ultimately in charge and that she needs to do what we say.  I am thankful that I am able to talk to her once she calms down and explain things in a logical manner that she can understand.  In words she can understand.  No anger, no saying she is bad, but explaining how things went wrong and explaining how things can be made right again.  But I could see how she could easily be willful enough to do whatever the hell she wants as she gets older.  She already tries to stomp off mid-conversation and we have to call her back.  Someday, she'll get into trouble--rather than taking the time to calm down from getting angry over being in trouble, she'll take off and then who knows what will happen.  There will be no explaining.  There will be no working with her.  And I see this as just a matter of time.  How much longer is the question?  And is it a foregone conclusion I'm going to lose my baby girl?