My daughter. My precious little fairy. Turning 11 soon. She's survived the years I worried most about -- 8, 9, and 10. I don't know why those concerned me so much. Could be that during those years for me, I found my lifelong passion (flute), fell in puppy love the first time, discovered how hard I found math to be, watched my family go through some big changes (siblings getting married, moving out, parents changing jobs), and started to figure out who I was.
Eleven was where I started to enjoy things a bit. I started to be regarded by my peers as smart, talented, and sweet. (It took me decades for others to think of me as funny, though. Weird.) At 11, I was already largely the person I'd end up being.
I wonder, when I look at her. Is she already involved in her calling? Would that be the science club she's in? Or math-0-rama? Or cooking? Maybe the writing contest she does every year. Flute she's been playing? Possibly choir. I have no idea.
Eleven is on the way to being a young lady. At 11, you know some of the 'facts of life.' And you've heard stories about the rest of them. You have opinions about things. About politics, economics, people, fashion. This is delightful to think about, but a bit scary too. We're on the cusp of this "mother/teenager" relationship I've heard of. I know. Eleven is NOT a teenager. But we're definitely in the neighborhood now.
She's afraid she'll change into a stereotypical teen. We've discussed this, and I remind her that all those generalities are just that -- general. And I'm afraid I"m going to be a pre-menepausal woman who is a bundle of prickly feelings and hot flashes. Does that happen to ALL mom/daughter pairs? Am I just as guilty of believing the generalities?
I hope not.