Hope grew up this summer. She made that hurdle from little girl to tween. In fact, I can’t remember a summer where she has grown and matured with this much acceleration since the leap from 4 to 5. We’ve had all sorts of growing pains from discovering the discomfort of female undergarments to the purchase of a black pair of flats that are permanently fixed on her feet. There has been a preoccupation with fashion and an increased desire to make her own sandwiches.
Bittersweet is the only way I can describe how I feel about these changes. While my main parenting goal is to raise her to be independent, I miss her dependence on me. Fourth grade starts next week and in addition to making friends and homework Hope will be learning how to cook dinner and will be allowed slightly more freedom in other areas of her life.
Of course, she is still my little girl. Today I took her to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and anytime anything was scary or sad, I could feel her little arms reaching out to me and wrapping around my arm. I feel infinitely important knowing that I am the one she looks to for comfort and safety. Right now I’m enjoying being the hero, but I know the time will come when I can’t make everything safe and happy.