I keep thinking more and more about Samantha getting older. (Party planning, I believe does that to the best of us.) I thought this year might bother me more than most. It seems to bother everyone else. I hear a lot of sadness because it isn't their first year of "school. They are starting to be more aware. They are reaching the age of reason...And then I found that I was actually excited for another year older. I usually am. I try to think about what is to come rather than what we will be leaving behind. But then I began thinking, like I should never do. And I realized...
Gone are the days of rocking a Lavendar scented baby to sleep. Gone are the days of learning to speak. Gone are the days of 2 year old tea parties. And gone are the days of Curious Buddies. Gone are the days of sensory paintings and baby fat. Gone are the days of her "first time in dance." Gone are the days of a 1, 2, 3, and 4 year old. And soon gone will be the days of a 5 year old.
It isn't her getting older per se, that makes me sad. It is the thought of, "How much longer will she lay on the trampoline and read books with me or run around as fast as she can to catch those little lightening bugs? How much longer will she let me hold her until she falls asleep? How much longer will she kiss me on the lips or run up to me in front of her friends and say, "I Love You!" I realize that keeping her young while she is still young will prolong it. Luckily she doesn't have that, "You are embarrassing me." response yet. And she still wants to cuddle and look at the starts. But for how long?
I have prayed and prayed to have a close relationship with my only living child. I can't imagine being closer to her. When something is wrong, she will sit in my lap and cry for as long as she needs to cry. If she is excited, I am the first to know. She wants me to be close to all her friends. And she wants me to partake in all of her interests. I am her rock. I am her critic for her art work. I am her partner in exploration-when B isn't here of course. I am her Mom. And I pray that even as she reaches her teenage years, though they will be rocky, I pray that we will stay close.
I don't believe that is just wishful thinking. I don't know any homeschool Moms in our community that have major relationship problems with their teens. not that there are none that don't. I don't believe that is only possible in homeschooling. (It can go both ways.) I just believe that some of the characteristics of homeschooling make things easier. In some forms of homeschooling, the fight for freedom is not as big a deal. The struggle for time isn't. And largely, I believe it depends on the Mother also. I know that no matter how angry I got with my Mom as a teenager, had she asked me to go outside with her and read a book or look at the starts, I would have done it. I was hungry for that attention, and I can't help but wonder, "What if we, as parents, are pushing our kids away sooner and sooner in anticipation of "the teen years," trying to lessen the pain, and in all reality, we are the ones causing it?" Something for me to think on, but I have another 8 years, so that will give me some time. I wonder what 6 will bring. I am sure it will allow for rocking to sleep and kisses on the lips, even if they aren't in front of her friends. I am excited for deeper conversations, which have already begun. And also for her confidence to grow. She is no longer the new kid in gym or "first year in homeschool" or "just learning to reading." She is well on her road into all of these things, and I think that will bring a new found confidence in her along with many changes in her personality. We will see.
Side Note: I just hope she always keeps her love for art. She is so good at it. She took a break for awhile. I believe she was feeling discouraged in whatever new skills she was trying. I felt myself being pulled to tell her what I thought of her art, in all honesty. So I sat down next to her first thing in the morning last week and I told her about how proud I was. How beautiful and meaningful her drawings are. And how much work I can tell she has put into her art. I've said it all the time, but maybe she never heard me before then. Her eyes filled with tears and she went directly to work on a new Nature Piece. I can tell art is one of her passions, everything about it. Maybe she was feeling discouraged, and that was all she needed to hear, because she hasn't put down her pencil since.