I realized recently that I haven’t taken much photos with a real camera for the past year. My trusty iPhone camera is just so convenient and always readily available that I’ve just been snapping away with that instead. So, one afternoon, I took my dust-collecting DSLR out again and took advantage of some nice, natural lighting in the house to photography my beautiful 7 year old girl….
I recently read that puberty begins at age 8 for girls, and I was stunned. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that in 10 months, my little girl will be entering yet another new phase in her life, a phase that almost “officially” makes her five steps closer to adolescence!
Boy, when people say kids grow like weeds, they weren’t kidding!
I’m savoring our moments together immensely these days, because as much as Bridgette still loves being around mommy and daddy, she’s clearly yearning more and more for her independence. Time with her own friends is sacred to her, and something she needs a lot of. There are times when it stings just a bit when she chooses to be with her friends over the fun plans that we made for our own family of 3. But, I’m careful not to judge or give her any guilt trip at all because quite frankly, I recall myself feeling the same way when I was her age.
Bridgette, for the most part, isn’t a moody person (yet). But there will be days when she feels a little sad with no logical explanation. And there will be times when she asks to be left alone in her room. I suppose these are early signs of hormones doing their thing, and even though I’m a little scared of what’s to come, I’m going to do everything I can to be a supportive and understanding parent to her.
I admit, it’s a bittersweet process to witness our children growing up. They are so pure and innocent during the first 5 years of their lives, completely carefree and happy-go-lucky. They have no sense of time, judgements, or pressure at all. Their joy is completely dependent on being around us, and being loved by us. They are simple-minded, and easily content. It’s a wonderful, wonderful place to be.
As they begin their school-age years, parents will begin witnessing some of that innocence being stripped away. Kids become exposed to the world in the eyes of other people beyond their own parents. They also experience social pressure….what it means to feel left out, to have peer pressure, and God forbid, to be bullied.
Let me tell you…in the beginning, all I wanted to do was to bubble wrap Bridgette and put her back in the safeness of our home. My instinct was to whip out my shield to protect her, and to do everything I can to preserve her innocence. But, I know that will actually do more harm than good in the long run, because eventually, she’s going to need to be fully independent, and our job as parents is to help her build her skills, strength, and attitude bit by bit in preparation for her growth and independence.
The weather’s been on and off lately, with a week of rain and then a week of glorious sunshine. Whenever the sun’s out, we’ve been soaking it up after school with impromptu outings.