claire can't see me.

a mom who is cooler in words than in life.

i’m really growing up…so i don’t like cheez-its anymore.

this is yet another thing that i overhear my first born say.
we’re on our way to the science museum & like every other mom who knows the power of snacks equals the joy of silence…everyone under the age of 18 in my car has a ziplock bag of good parenting. well…not really good good parenting because cheez-its are probably not the wisest snack choices. so let’s say everyone had a bag full of magic. yeah..magic..that’ll work.

previous to entering the car, the bebes & i hold a powwow in the kitchen regarding what snack will keep them happy for 15 minutes. the middler says cheez-its. the baby says “dudu ome”, & he gets cheez-its by default. and the oldest says “do you have something else? because, like, well, like, cheez-its have so much cheese that sometimes its too, like, cheesy.”

we live in the suburbs….so pardon the extra “like”s. i’m working on it!

so she gets stale graham crackers because..that’s about all i had to offer until the next grocery trip.

fast foward to the car.

“here sister, have some of my cheez-its” says middler. this is her idea of bargaining. if you take the bait, you have automatically agreed to give her some of your snack in return….whether you know it or not. she’s a future loan shark. watch out.

& this is where the title of the blog comes in.

according to nina moon, her palate is changing because she’s growing up. when she was 5 cheez-its were good but now that she’s been 6 for almost 2 months her tongue has reached a level of maturity that no longer deems eating processed cheese snacks as acceptable behavior for a future first grader.

“oh” kimi says continuing to munch on her immature snack, happily even.

“you’ll see” the oldest says biting into a graham cracker that has lost its crisp, & her newly advanced taste buds don’t seem detect the staleness.

when i overhear this i’m a little sad, not only because my child says “like” entirely too much. but because she’s right, she is growing up. i’ve known this little secret for a while, but to hear it come from her mouth means that she knows it too. & as g.i joe says “knowing is half the battle”…or rather half the battle i must prepare myself to encounter. i try to stunt her growth in some ways. not in a damaging way like giving her coffee or telling her that everyone in the world will be her friend. but by offering to play hide and seek and make up stories on the fly and still sing lullabies at night…so that she can live in a kiddie world a little longer than the current crop of life-sized bratz dolls.

but i knew this day would come…i predicted it when she was only 6 months old & i wrote the poem “for amiia”.

“cause one day you won’t need me
& i’ll fight tempations to play hide & seek in your trying to find you
in letters & words written in privacy
in spite of me
i’ll have to accept that you found your own friends outside of me
& i’ll be afraid
wondering if i taught you all the right things before
life came & kidnapped you from me….”

i think i panicked all the way to the museum. i think i held back tears. i think i replayed everything i’ve ever said wrong or didn’t say…or every moment i said i was too busy. i think i regretted trying to go back to school at a crucial time in the bebes lives…and reconsidered the notion of home schooling. but that’s the way i am….i instantly go into despair mode. & when we parked the car i had decided that i needed to let go a little. that this museum trip i would give her a little more freedom to go off and play without me hovering of her every decision about where to go next or if i could join in the fun. first step in the place, she zoomed off. note: she was not completely alone, her father is never far behind. he just stays further back than me, but his eye is never off of her.

i followed the middler to a pretend house to play legos. & i enjoyed the fact that i have another year full of magic & santa & tooth fairy with this one. my soul eased off the panic button & low & behold….who shows up?

yep.

she comes in and wants to play with us….with me. we all play tea party in the kitchen area & band members in the music area. & a few times….nina moon asks kimi if she could have some of her cheez-its because she’s still hungry and ran out of her own snack.

ha.

the point is…..getting older is exciting, but there is always a need to return to home after each adventure. when the wow’s of growing up seemingly run out for a moment, she’ll come back looking for me. when the woes of growing up seemingly increase she’ll come back looking for me. i can’t always be THERE…but got’damnit i’ll be HERE!

i’ll be here where she can need me, where she can not be cool or mature or impressive. i’ll be right here when growing up makes her want to give up. i’ll always be where she can find me. me & a box of cheez-its.

i guess this is the pain of parenting…finding a balance of letting go and holding on.

i guess…

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