Last night Her Highness broke my heart in two. She came up to me with a funny look on her face, asking 84 different questions, without waiting for my response. I knew this meant only one thing, she was trying not to cry about something. Not sure why, but she does this every time she doesn't want us to know she's trying not to cry. So, being the busy momma that I am, I immediately cut to the chase... "Honey, what's wrong? Why are you about to cry?" "I'm NOT!..." sniffle, sniffle, sniffle.... The flood gates opened up, but she didn't.
It was bedtime, so Bert tucked her in and got her to spill her heart, which he's way better at than me. Half an hour later, after hearing lots of tickling and laughing, Bert came out and said, "She wants you to kiss her goodnight too." I walked in to find Her Highness sniffling again and said, "Can you tell me what's wrong?" She then blurted out, "I just don't wanna grow up! And I don't want Flash to grow up either! He's so cute, Momma! And he's so little. And I wanna stay little too!"
I began with the usual comforting things a mother says, when one of her children is stressed. I explained that when I was younger I too was nervous about being a grown-up, and thought about how fun it was to be a little girl, with Cookie and Granddaddy and all my siblings. But, that growing up is a lot of fun too. Growing up means you get to go to high school, play sports, go places with your friends by yourself, meet new and fun people... on and on and on I went... go to college, meet your husband, get married and have babies. "See, if Mommy and Daddy had not grown up, we wouldn't have all of you! And I have the most fun with you guys, than I've ever had in my entire life!"
Her Highness continued sobbing. She wasn't buying it. "I just don't wanna grow up, Momma." she said between snorts and sniffles.
Honestly, I don't want her to grow up either. I wish we could freeze time, and keep them here with us... safe... always. Where no one can hurt them. Truth is, growing up is hard, and it's not always fun. Right now, the hardest thing in their little lives is dealing with an occasional bully on the playground. It's these bullies that help prepare us for the real bullies down the road, I suppose. And growing up is inevitable. No way to stop it. All we can do is our best. And pray for God to guard them. Knowing this, I still have a hard time letting go. Letting them grow.
I kept a smile on my face while I was in Her Highness' room, trying to make her laugh like Bert did, to lighten her mood. "Honey, if you don't want to grow up, don't worry. Daddy never grew up either!" She finally calmed down, and drifted off to a peaceful sleep. I finished tucking her in, then went to my own room and cried, wishing she would stay little forever, along with her brothers. Then I began laughing at myself as I thought about our lives and just how truly blessed we are... Growing up is hard, but it is so much fun.