Growing pains

My little girl is growing up. This summer she has officially crossed over the cute kiddie age and landed in some sort of vague, pre-pre-teen phase. Opinions and mood swings worthy of a young hormonal quasi-adult are mixed together with her normal sparkly sweetness and open hearted disposition, leaving her parents a little confused and with occasional growing pains.
The cuddles and spontaneous hugs don't happen as often as they used to and I do miss the frequency of endearments... in their place there is a new maturity and curiosity for all things worldly. She is clever, sees and hears all, questions and probes into the nature of things while simultaneously arranging elaborate tea parties for her teddies and dolls. Man oh man, it's both sweet and sour. I love the fact that she now is becoming this cool little girl that is displaying besides her usual brilliance, the feisty behavior that I know will eventually be a most bankable asset in this world of trickery and treachery, but feel at the same time fear of her independence, the same fear I now fully understand my parents had to go through during my coming of age years.
I get it now, my mother still sees that little girl that came home from school storming through the front door and squealed of happiness when smelling freshly baked cinnamon buns cooling on the counter. She still sees that helpless, insecure child who the first day of school would not let go of her hand (until she met another child who would talk to her, and coolness became more urgent than tenderness), just as I will always see Iomi as my sweet little baby and never be able to shake that urgent instinct to protect her from the bad guys. Choosing to become a parent is an irreversible step through that portal where you have taken the red pill instead of the blue and will forever more acutely experience the unbearable fragility of life.

It's also an invitation to step up the game, to figure out what qualities are really worth installing deep in her hard drive as valuable information. To do your best and utmost to raise a human being that will leave this place a little more beautiful than when she arrived.

Honesty, empathy, clarity, basic human goodness, the cultivation of resilience and umph are the topics we are currently addressing. The importance of calling bullshit bullshit to not be fooled by public opinion and make her understand the responsibility she carries as a human being living on this earth.
We had a talk one night where we clarified some of the new development and what her role in it is. We explained her that she is at an age where her happiness is coming to rest more on her shoulders, she is past the time where we make most of the choices for her, and that school and her social interactions are the places where she gets to individually explore cause and effect, which action births what consequence, and her place in the world.

Being a parent truly is a marvelous experience, after all it's the adventure that keeps on growing. I think Steve Carrell said it best, when describing parenthood to John Krasnik, and I am loosely paraphrasing from a YouTube clip I just saw: "It's like if life before kids was your favorite book and then you have kids it's then that is your favorite book even though it's completely different".

Something like that.

But anyway, family life is still a pretty normal affair, growing pains and all. Love is aplenty and so is laughter. Iomi is developing a wicked sense of humor thanks to her father and in order to draw a laugh from her, which btw is the most beautiful sound in the world, my cursing is more unguarded, which I am trying to be mindful about. Not because it's wrong, just cause I don't want to get a phone call from a dismayed co-parent who have inadvertently heard some foul language coming from their offspring and managed to trace it back to me...The deeper meaning of a well directed 'fuck you' is just lost on some...

To add to the growing confusion she is just becoming more pretty. Oh boy. Foresee a future where there could be plenty of not only bad guys, but also boring/funny/strange/not worthy of my precious little girl guys. It's a good thing I'm in a been there done that situation there, will help me empathize and advice, and the truth be told is that I am, besides still mourning a little while remembering things past, also so looking forward to the bloom of this new more adult relationship. After all she is my absolute favorite person in the world and I am so excited to be in her life.

Next stop, Puberty. Yikes...


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