Sunday, January 4, 2009

Girls Grow Up too Fast

At dinner tonight with the girls we began discussing friends. You see we've been talking about moving out of state very seriously for the past few days. To the point where we are planning a trip to look at possible homes and jobs in another state.

Now much to my surprise when we first started discussing this Natalie was all over this. She was ready to move that second. Even when I pointed out that we would be too far away to visit her friends regularly and stuff. This is a shock because Natalie is usually my more sensitive child. If I get to the school to pick her up and she has to wait for me she's always panicking and wondering where I am. Now mind you this does not happen often and half of the time I'm usually in the school just not where the students are picked up.

Kaitlyn, my more go with the flow child, has been more anxious and upset at this thought. She doesn't want to leave her friends behind because she has so many. Now of course we've told her that she'll make new friends and stuff and have pointed out to her that we'll all be in the same boat with making new friends, but we will have each other. Now I'm sure she'll be just fine if we are able to do this and she'll fall in love with wherever we move to.

Now back to the point of this post. You see in our dinner discussion tonight Kaitlyn said something about Natalie not having a lot of friends. Now first I had to scold Kaitlyn for being so mean and then had to tell Natalie that it's not the amount of friends she has that matters, but how good those friends she has are. This also isn't the first time that Kaitlyn has brought up Natalie's limited amount of friends. So I figured we better discuss this more. Now things are starting to make sense. Natalie is looking at Kaitlyn who is friends with everyone in her class and remembering when that was the case for her too. So she's looking at this move as a new start for her I think.

But I've been thinking, I didn't worry about my popularity until I was in middle school. Natalie's only in 4th grade and she's already struggling with these sorts of things. And really I've seen it since 2nd grade beginning to happen. The girls in her grade are so caddy with each other. One minute they love you and the next they want nothing to do with you. And Natalie never used to be like that, but she's starting to do it too. For a while there she could do nothing but talk about this girl Kaylee. Now I know Kaylee. When I was the girl scout leader she was in my troop. She's one of those fair weather friends. She will be chummy with you when it suits her. But recently Natalie has been saying Kaylee isn't her friend anymore. She likes this boy that Natalie likes and he likes Kaylee so Natalie doesn't want anything to do with either of them. Now I have discussed this with Natalie. Used mine and Joe's relationship as an example even that she can still be friends with this boy and this girl if that's what she wants. She looks at me though like yeah right mom there's no way I can do that.

So just another example of her growing up way too fast. My advice and input is already not needed. She's not even a teenager yet. I suppose just the beginning of my having to let go. I worry though at how fast this all seems to be happening. There's so much more pressure on children these days and it's almost like they feel like they have to grow up faster. Natalie already doesn't want to get any older. She's not really looking forward to turning 10 this year. Perhaps that's my fault since I protested turning 30 so much just two months ago. But then again to an extent I go through this every year with her. I was excited to turn 10 and be in double digits. Then it was I can't wait to be 12 because I'd be a pre-teen. Then 13 I would be a teen. And 15 I could get my first job (not that I did, but just knowing I could was enough for me). Then 16 I could drive, 18 I was an "adult" and could buy cigarettes, and of course 21 I could drink and was officially an adult. Perhaps that's why I dreaded 30 so much. Once I got to 21 there was nothing else to look forward to. Well, except maybe retirement or becoming a Senior Citizen ;). I don't know though to me a ten year old shouldn't be worrying about her popularity, boys, and growing older. She's got enough to worry about without these things. Maybe a new start really would do us all some good. I wonder if little girls all over the US are so quick to grow up these days or if there is somewhere where a little girl gets to stay a little girl a little longer.