This morning Poss woke up to a hallway filled with 80 balloons, which she kicked and pushed all over the house before jumping on our bed, shouting, “wake up, I’m 8!!”.
Yes. Indeed. Eight.
A big grade three girl now, eight years old. I know I sound a bit perplexed, but that’s because I am. People with older kids used to say all the cliches “enjoy it, it goes so quick” or “you wait, you will be here before you know it” and I would nod and smile, because that’s what is polite – knowing it would be different for us.
But of course they are right. It does go quick. It flies. I forget how little she was, how helpless, how squidgy. A long, lean, lanky almost-tween, who now comes up to my shoulder, and will no doubt be taller than me within a year or two at most, now calls me mum.
Her world is changing too; filled with things outside our influence. Her playlists are no longer carefully selected Disney tunes mixed in with some High-5 for fun, they are now packed with One Direction, Birdy and Macklemore. An eclectic selection for sure, but I love that she will give anything a listen and then likes it whether it’s popular with her peers or not.
She still wants to be a fashion designer or stylist, but as we won’t allow her to compete in pageants, she is now thinking she may also be a model. Her recent acceptance into an agency has only heightened this, with great plans afoot for ‘being famous’. Famous for what, we’re not really sure.
Yet, in many ways she is still so young. Crumbles is her constant at home companion, being dragged from room to room and tucked into bed with her each night. Long possum cuddles are still demanded and while she has finally mastered tying up her shoelaces, she still needs help cutting up her food. Her American Girl Doll takes pride of place on her bed, when not being ‘styled’, and spending hours on the trampoline, her bike or at the park are still top of her to do list
She is as kind as she is sassy, one almost cancelling the other out at times. She is funny and laughs easily, at jokes and at herself. She is a fierce competitor, but we are working on helping her to lose more graciously. She is developing a sense of maturity and compassion that makes my heart sing, as we know how hard these things have been worked for.
It’s been a ride to get to here; we have come down a path we didn’t expect to come down. Over the past three years we have learned more about parenting, or more correctly, being *her* parent, than in the five that came before it. Yet, here we are. We made it to eight. And I couldn’t be prouder.
Happy birthday my beautiful Poss.