I had a feeling my daughter questioned my humanity, but it was not until this evening that my suspicions were confirmed. She was enthusiastically telling her Dad and me about a book her grandmother had given her, and was advocating that it be the next book designated for nighttime storytelling, when she made this Freudian slip:
“The book is really good! It is so exciting! I think it is a book that both adults and humans would like …” then she trails off into peals of laughter when she realized what she had said. I knew it was a good call to put truth serum in her supper.
My 9-year old daughter is going through that preadolescent phase, where the lines are clearly drawn between adults and children. This stage of social development, which many preteens go through, is when friends and identifying with peers increase in importance. I have noticed the change over the past year where “we kids” and “you adults” have become predominant phrases in her vocabulary. She is still affectionate and my “little girl” in many ways, but the truth of the matter is that my little girl is growing up.
While I know puberty and its uncertainties are inevitable, and I am proud to see how my daughter is maturing, I must admit, I am missing my innocent 2-year old princess, and in some ways, dreading the teen years. I am trying to balance being approachable while being a parent and not a friend, which I hope will constantly remind her that as she negotiates the uncertain terrain of adolescence that she always has her parents as ones to which she can turn. I am hoping and praying that by the time adolescence is through that I am the one who can discern if my daughter is still human; if it turns out that she isn’t, well, we could always bond by giving each other oil changes.