I haven’t written much about motherhood here lately – Edie is at an age where I don’t feel it’s appropriate for me to tell her story anymore. Also, she googles herself and this blog comes up and if she’s googling, then chances are her friends are googling and I definitely don’t want to post anything that’s embarrassing to her.
She is, as she’s quick to remind me these days, almost a teenager. It’s a whole new ball game parenting wise. I am the first to admit I have no idea what I’m doing – three days after I turned twelve, I got a baby sister. By my thirteenth birthday, my parents had separated, by my fourteenth, I had spent some time living with my grandparents while my parents had reunited and announced they were expecting their fourth child. There wasn’t much room for my adolescent self in all of that, but I did fine tune my laundry skills during those years, so there’s that. Laundry skills and what not to do, that’s what I have to work with at this point in the parenting game.
She has grown leaps and bounds this year – physically and mentally. She came out of the house one day this summer only to have our across the street neighbor – a man who has seen her just about every day of her life – comment on the strange new woman living in our house, exactly when did that happen? I keep asking myself that question. Her too. She came through the kitchen one morning and I noticed she was suddenly at eye level. She no longer fits nicely under my chin when I hug her, but sometimes she’ll be sweet enough to stoop that low when I do. The days of her being able to do that comfortably though, I can tell, are numbered. She’s wearing my clothes and my shoes, having appropriated a pair of boots she feels I wasn’t wearing enough. A big chunk of her current wardrobe are hand-me-downs from my various girlfriends – she’s got quite the closet. Definitely nicer than mine.
She officially started middle school this year – Charlottesville having an upper elementary school between the elementary schools and the middle school. The transition to the upper elementary was not at all smooth and I was worried about this one. That first week was a doozy, but since then, it’s been clear sailing. She had auditioned at the end of last school year for Sinfonia, the advanced 8th grade orchestra, for this year. Having made it, she decided to concentrate solely on her bass, giving up piano. This past Wednesday was their fall concert. Sinfonia played a piece with the CHS String Ensemble. At first glance, those high school kids didn’t seem as big as they once did. Maybe because I recognize so many of them from when they were all toddlers at the park together. At any rate, the way time flies hit me square between the eyes right then as I was looking for my girl on stage. The basses were along the rear, a string of big boys and their big instruments. I couldn’t see her from my seat (not at all unusual for the middle school auditorium), when suddenly, there was her sweet little face popping out. Standing there in a row of high school boys, she looked very much like the little girl I still think of her as. As she played, holding her own with said big boys, I was so proud of her. When I told her this the next day, she gave me that no nonsense look of hers and replied, “That’s the story of my life mom, I’ve always had to play with the big boys”. And it’s true. My closest neighborhood mom friends all have boys older than Edie and as a wee tot, that’s who she ended up playing with most of the time. One of those boys is currently in her orchestra section, both of them having been influenced by one of the even older neighborhood boys who played bass. I often wondered what the effect of having to play with all those boys would have on her and now I know. She can hold her own.