Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Don't grow up yet

My sweet daughter- wants to grow up so very badly. She is only 3 1/2 and she is already planning and plotting out what she will do when she, 'gets bigger'. She is counting down the days til her 4th birthday, the day we let her pierce her ears, drive a car, wear makeup, be a mommy--

I checked in on Alexis yesterday afternoon, after things had been quiet for just a little too long. As I rounded the curve of the staircase, I saw her sitting on the top step, with her pink organza dress piled all around her. She looked like an angel, and more importantly, she looked like my sweet and innocent little girl. The one I dreamed about, before she was ever conceived. However, I must have awaken before the next part in the dream--

My sweet, little girl looked up at me--and I saw these bright blue eyes shining through, what looked like a soot-covered face with bright salmon-colored lips. I am sure I stood there in shock for a good minute, before I said anything...

"What did you do?" I asked, still stunned at the scene in front of me.
"I was trying to look beautiful, like you mommy." she responded with whole-hearted sincerity.

At this point, I didn't know if she was playing the "compliment-card" that I didn't know she knew how to use yet, or if I really did look like a, "hot-mess" when I, "got beautiful."

I asked her to look at her goth-like face in the mirror...and tell me if she thought she looked beautiful. I honestly thought she would say, "yes."

Instead she said, "no--it looks like a mess."

Good--I haven't completely failed her, as a mother and the first makeup tutor she will have.

As, I tried gently to rid her face of all of the dark colors--I got a glimpse into our future-- Of a 16 year old ( I pray it holds off that long) trying to find herself and experimenting with beauty and all of its forms.

I sat on the edge of the bathtub, with a makeup remover cloth in one hand, and as I started to see her smooth, ivory skin shining through--I looked deep into her eyes an I told her how beautiful she was--that makeup could never make her any more beautiful than she already is. As I spoke these words, that I didn't imagine speaking to my daughter for a few more years--a twinge of pain must have come across my face--as my heart wrenched. My little girl was trying to grow up, right before my eyes--and way before I am ready.

I know it is impossible to keep our children, babies. To keep them naive, protected and in the little bubble we have created for them--seems futile. Nonetheless, I cannot quench the desire to freeze Alexis and Jaxen in their youth.

It is not that I don't want Alexis to get her ears pierced, or that I don't want to see her wear make-up, or drive a car (well, maybe not that). It is that I have looked forward for so long to have her in my life--and to be the "mommy." I don't want it to fly by, I just want to sit back and enjoy it. And, I do want to desperately protect from the outside, cruel world--that encourages her to judge her beauty on how much make-up she wears, what clothes she wears, how thin she is--etc.

As, I lose myself in the fear of the future--I am quickly taken back--way back to my own childhood. How my parents must have felt the same helplessness in my own desire to grow up too quickly. I was more than excited to use nail polish and make-up and dress in fancy dresses--and it didn't end there-- I wore make-up before it was allowed, and am pretty sure that there were times when I looked more like a "mess" than "beautiful."

So, today--and everyday I will pray that I can somehow keep my children young--and that my daughter does not try to grow up as quickly as I did.

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