When Teenagerhood Comes Knocking … the Signs of Childhood Remain

sleeping childThe kid slept until 11:30 a.m. the other day. At 9:30, I took a break from work to ascend the stairs and assure myself that she was still breathing. She was.

And I took comfort in the stuffed animal held tightly in the crook of her arm.

Sleeping until close to noon may be a sign that teenagerhood is hiding just around the corner, ready to jump out and scare me, but I’m holding close to the signs of childhood that remain.

The stuffed bear cuddled in for a long nap.

The morning trek down the stairs for a hug before a breakfast that may or may not be eaten at what others would call “lunch” time.

The scooter dropped haphazardly on the front lawn, the accompanying helmet left upside down, just waiting for a rainstorm to render it a sopping mess.

The LEGOs strewn across the playroom floor.

The way blankets become clothes become blankets again.

This is a stage of parenting they don’t warn you about. They tell you about parenting a little kid, a big kid, a tween, and a teen.

But what of the in-between?

The bit where your kid is not yet tween but no longer “just” a big kid; the bit where you’re grasping at every moment of childhood and holding on tight as you can, come what may?

This is where we are this summer, in the in-between.

Everywhere I turn, there are warnings of what is to come. The way “Mom” becomes not one syllable but three. The way the bedroom door’s closure means you’ll see her in an hour … or maybe three.

But I’m not ready for teenagerhood. Not yet.

Thank goodness for stuffed bears and scooters.


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