Growing Pains

Victoria may be the one who has just turned eleven, but I seem to be going through just as many growing pains.  She seems to like hers but I’m not enjoying mine a bit.

She is off in Nebraska this week, keeping Tiffany and gang company.  I talked to her on the phone twice and she couldn’t wait to get off the phone with me.  I think I’m annoying.  I’m certainly not missed.

I don’t know this person who has stolen my little girl from me.  She cares about fashion and considers herself too old for make believe.  I embarrass her.  I bore her.  She wants to get a subscription to Glamour and learn how to wear makeup.  She reads Twilight and wants to buy a laptop.  She’s eleven going on twenty, full speed.

I remember the year I changed on my mother.  We were close the whole time I was growing up and then we weren’t.  I always thought it was because I’m a survivor of a whole gaggle of abuses (not by her) and they had a profound affect on me.  I thought it was because I was so badly bullied in school (that was the year the whole student body had a plan to set my hair on fire).  I thought it was because we were so poor (I slept on a cot, with the faucet dripping so the pipes wouldn’t freeze).  I thought it was because my childhood was so horrid and she was so clueless and I was so damaged.

I never thought it would happen to my child.  I thought we were different.  I have dedicated the past eleven years to making this a wonderful family to grow up in.  We travel and laugh and play and learn and volunteer and talk and talk and talk.  And suddenly that’s not enough.  Like it or not, my child is outgrowing me.  Not in the sense of needing me to teach her and guide her and provide for her, but in the sense of her being my little girl.

I am a puzzle piece that no longer fits.  And so, just as Victoria must change as part of her healthy evolution, I must change as her mother.  Like it or not, my job description is now altered and I have to become something new, too.

And I’ll do that, and I’m sure I’ll find things to love in that new role and handle it fine.  But first, I’m doing a little mourning.  I’ve tried to push past it and I just can’t.  I need to feel this.

I miss my daughter.

I miss the days when I was her favorite person and knew everything.  I miss my little girl who had her own unique sense of style and didn’t care what anybody thought of her.  I miss her telling me she wanted to live with me forever.  I miss leading monster parades and dress up parties with Victoria as the leader of the pack.  I miss her asking to do more homeschool and being eager to please.  I miss my sidekick.

I posted about this last week on the Magical Childhood blog.  I tried to make it sentimental and sweet.  I tried to see the good in it and put a positive spin on it, and to end on a fun note.  But the fact of the matter tonight is that I don’t feel like it’s fun right now.  It’s healthy and necessary, and tomorrow I’ll focus on the younger kids and the bright sides and all the platitudes that I endlessly give myself.

Tonight I am sipping Southern Comfort and missing my little girl.

I know I will love this next daughter who is replacing her, but tonight I am giving myself permission to be sad.

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8 thoughts on “Growing Pains

  1. Alicia! {{{hugs}}}

    You brought tears to my eyes. My little girl is almost 7, and she’s still doing all those things you miss. I *so* don’t want this to happen to us! I mean, she’s already into fashion, but still has her own style. I’m trying to teach all my kids not to worry about what other people think, but who knows if this will have the effect I’d like it to have (i.e. retaining her own style).

    I’m mourning with you; I’m sorry it’s happening, despite how d*mn healthy it is.

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  2. Very touching post, Alicia–here’s to the future, as well as the memories. I am amazed at how quickly things have change for you and her, and am reminded to enjoy my little boys now…this won’t be forever. Big hugs!

    And happy belated birthdays to 3 of your 4!

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  3. Oh Alicia! I’m so close to tears right now…I understand your need to grieve for this next phase of the weaning process. You’re absolutely allowed. And remember that you may well get flashes of your little girl again. Being away from you may have forced her to leap into that next stage.

    xxxxxxx

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  4. (Hugs!). It doesn’t help to know it’s normal, I suppose. And some girls come full circle back to their moms, after this little stretching phase is past.

    But no matter what, to love our children is to know that someday we will lose them, and they will grow up.

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  5. That was so heartfelt and I just really don’t know what to say. Assuring you that she WILL come back around (I promise!!) because you’ve loved her so well these past 11 years probably isn’t going to help today. I bet she’s feeling off balance too and may secretly miss the old days herself but can’t let herself show it. Mourning the loss of Little Victoria, as awful as that is (and I wish you didn’t have to), will be better in the long run than feeling mad at her for “leaving you” and becoming Big Victoria. Maybe if she knew a little about how hard it is for Mom too, she could remember to try to be gentler on your heart? Take your time and feel this all you need to but remember to be good to yourself and have some fun too. And that you can email me whenever and as much as you want if you have words that need to go somewhere. I’ll be thinkin’ of ya.
    LT

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  6. Oh, Alicia, this brought me to tears. Sorry you’re going through such a wrenching transition. I’m going to try to remember this when my demanding 5-year-olds get on my nerves … yeah, I sometimes wish they’d just leave me alone, but how painful it will be when they do.

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  7. ((((Alicia)))) Our babies keep growing up don’t they. I’ve seen the same things happen/ing in Ali and it’s bittersweet. I miss not knowing quite where she’s at, but I marvel at watching her reach for her independence. I miss the ready hugs and “I love you!”s, but am grateful for the moments when they still occur. (And when that happens, I have to keep my cool and not make a big deal out of it, trust me!) I hate hearing her say, “my family is boring”, but when she comes to me wanting to play chess or work on a puzzle together, I know I’m not totally out of the picture.

    You are a wonderful mom. Victoria knows you are there for her anytime. Don’t discredit a thing about the family life you have provided her. Even though she may be stretching her wings, you’ve given her a wonderful nest to come back to when she needs a rest.

    As for her being at Tiff’s and not wanting to come home-well keep in mind that Tiff’s home and family is probably like a second home and family. She’s going to feel very safe, secure, loved, included and it probably feels a lot like what she’s used to already! So it could be a compliment!

    It’s your loving, intuitive, connected-to-your-babes, devoted, momma heart that is feeling the sadness. I’m glad you have a heart that feels so strongly, compared to someone who will wig out on their changing child and set up a relationship of frustration, misunderstanding and hurt.

    Hang in there and know that your Victoria is going to be an amazing woman someday-this is just part of the process.

    Hugs coming your way!

    Jeanne

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  8. Oh Alicia, that was so sweet and heartbreaking and understanding! I see glimpses of this with Accalia (10 next month) and sometimes feel like bursting into tears at the thought of my little girl disappearing. Then I think that, even though she’s changing and her interests are changing and I’m losing some of my little girl, she’s still coming to me and sharing these things and wanting me to see this new world that she’s discovering. It doesn’t always make it easier, though, does it?

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