Friday, April 19, 2019

Today, Smarty is turning 12-and-a-half. She shared with me recently that she can't wait to turn 13, "because so many things are only available when you are 13, for example, a College Board account". I am, for one, in no hurry for that date. I enjoy and treasure this interesting moment in time between childhood and adolescence.
In so many physical things Smarty is still a child. Yes, she seems to be growing faster lately and just crossed 4' 9", but she is still much shorter than her classmates and did not cross that magical line that separates a child and a young woman. She still does not care for boys, for clothes or for being cool even though she is surrounded by much older kids for most of her day.
We see more maturity in her - usually she does not forget her lunch or her homework at home, she handles her workload reasonably well, and she starts to plan ahead more. At the same time sometimes she has lapses in common sense that make our heads spin, and I am reminded that she is still a young girl with immature decision making skills and that we cannot expect the same level of maturity from her as we would expect from an adult.
Smarty is also cuddly and affectionate, but only with very selected few (i.e. with us). Outside of her family, she does not like to be touched, especially without permission. She also remains to be very direct, and I never heard her lying. Unfortunately, as we discovered recently, she might attempt to get out of the "tight spot" by withholding information, but at least we know that we can trust her words when she does tell us something. What I love about her is that she has an internal drive to excel. She actually She actually cares about her grades more than we do and she has ferocious focus when it comes to tests. I can't wait to see when this drive will support a true passion for something. So far the only true passion for Smarty is reading, and it's quite fun to see her reading in all kinds of positions when absorbed in a book.
When I look at my job as a parent in the next 6 months, I feel that we need to help Smarty handle stress and prioritize her efforts, we need to continue to surround her with love and we need to help her master more tasks in the kitchen this summer. We also need to encourage her to get more out of her head and meet with her friends, ride her bike, play with clay, and relax. We also need to treasure this time with her, because, in a blink, her childhood will be completely gone, and we will have a young woman in the house. I am NOT ready for this :)


Joyful Learner said...

In terms of physical maturity, we have a late bloomer as well. K is small compared to her peers who already look over mature and grown up.

Ticia said...

I know, this is such a fun age, and I've got the same thing going on in my house.

MaryAnne said...

Happy half birthday!

So far we're doing fine with 13, so don't worry about it too much...

I'm excited where Smarty goes as she grows.