In Between

When I began this blog, back in 2005, a lot of what I wrote about centered around daily life with my kids. We three spent a lot of our days together back then, and found creative ways to fill our time. I truly treasure the snippets of time that I documented on wise craft, writing about those days on this blog felt like it gave it all so much more life than just taking one photograph.
Even though they are still very much still my daily focus, I don’t write about Emma and Ian so much anymore. This is in part a conscious decision and in part a natural evolution of our life together. As much as I’ve tried to slow it down, they are, in fact, getting older. More and more of their days are spent out and about in their own world, and I feel a strong need to let them keep their life and private. This is especially true with Emma. She is 11 years old today. That’s just nuts! When I started this blog she was so little, just starting kindergarten. Feels like ages ago…
Lately, however, I feel the strong evidence of a “tweener” in our house. What does that mean? Well, there’s the wiki definition, and there’s our real life version, which doesn’t feel so straightforward. Our real life tweener is a girl who is sweet and little and in her room playing with her tiny Calico Critter animals one minute, maybe wanting to hug and snuggle with me, then the next minute could be asking me about makeup, crying over too much homework, rolling her eyes because I won’t let her stay up and read past her bedtime (ah! the eye rolling!), or have a friend over every afternoon, the one who needs a little space (or not, her call). Where did this girl come from? The other day she made her own little dressing table after reading one of those Daring Book for Girls (sorry, don’t know which one) all afternoon. I just couldn’t resist photographing it. She covered stacks of shoe boxes with 2 pieces of fabric, covered it with things she deems “important”, and she just loves it. So cute. And so symbolic of where she’s at in her life. The lipgloss and jewelry, nail polish, deodorant (suddenly a big necessity)…all mixed with bakugan cards, rubber band balls, and one of her homemade potions (weird combinations of shampoo, lotion, and whatever she can find) in a Pingu bottle.
Big Girl mixed with Little Girl.
The uncertainty of the middle.
So I enter the new challenge of parenting this new-ish Emma that’s landed at our doorstep. I feel the need to give her a little space and a lot of guidance. Just do the best I can. I realize this is merely one of the thousand phases she will go through in her life. I am fascinated by all of them. The current phase, which I have dubbed the Loves Baby Soft phase, includes angel food birthday cake and jewel encrusted earbuds for her Ipod. I’m going with it…
Happy Birthday Emma, you are more awesome every year.

  • emily

    November 12, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    jewel encrusted ear buds! love it. (and feeling, too, the change in rhythm as the kids get bigger. that, and the eye rolling. sigh.) happy 11!

  • Alexis

    November 12, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Happy Birthday Emma! My nine-year-old is following closely behind you!

  • Melissa Crowe

    November 12, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Oh, I’m right there with you my friend. We have a 10 and 1/2 who’s always a little ahead of herself.
    And I did the same thing–making potions–when I went to my grandmother’s house. She had a whole bathroom full of weird, cheap, older lady soaps and perfumes and cosmetics and would like me mix them together to my heart’s content!

  • jen j-m

    November 12, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    i have one of those too. she’s both awesome and befuddling, sometimes from minute to minute.
    happy birthday to emma, and to you!

  • Sarah Jackson

    November 12, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    aww, happy birthday Emma! And to you too.

  • carol

    November 13, 2009 at 4:32 am

    happy birthday to Emma! I’m in the exact same phase and it’s so nice to know others are in it with me- I’m noticing that “natural pulling back” as well and this is a good thing! I can’t wait to see how our girls turn into young women.
    Cheers to you both!

  • Grandma Cathey

    November 13, 2009 at 4:47 am

    Happy Birthday Emma! Wish I could be with you on your Day.

  • Kristy

    November 13, 2009 at 6:09 am

    Happy birthday Emma.
    Oh tweenagers who grow into teengers! Enjoy 😉

  • Jen

    November 13, 2009 at 6:17 am

    Loves Baby Soft! Gosh, I’d forgotten all about that, but also wore it when I was about her age–maybe 12?
    Good luck!

  • Molly Irwin

    November 13, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Happy birthday to Emma, and day-you-gve-birth to you, Blair. This is an interesting age. I have a 10 here and still see more little in her, but the big girl is emerging daily. Enjoy every moment!

  • lorien

    November 13, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Thanks for sharing a little peek of what we have in our very near future. It is nice to hear from a Mama who is tuned in to the changes and respectful of them as well. My 10 year old just discovered the Go-Go’s all on her own. I couldn’t be happier!!

  • betz

    November 13, 2009 at 7:21 am

    LOVES BABY SOFT! oh the memories…how could I have forgotten?
    Thank you Blair. I always love your bday posts.

  • Erin | house on hill road

    November 13, 2009 at 7:51 am

    i hear you loud and clear! i see jane heading that way, too. happy birthday to emma! i hope she had a fantastic day. xo.

  • Laughing Duck

    November 13, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Ahhh- You’re entering the phase where you will shift from manager to consultant. Rather then scheduling everyday and everything Emma will begin to do it herself and we parents are there to guide and step in only when needed or asked to. So begins the teen dance…play your cards right and let her make mistakes and ask for some help (you can always ask if she needs it) and the teens won’t be as rocky as they as could be 😀 happy birthing day to YOU!

  • Kelly

    November 13, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Happy Birthday Emma!

  • mommycoddle

    November 13, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    oh, blair! since you were my first blogging pal YEARS ago, I feel like I’ve watched Emma grow up. This is so big! 11!!?? Happy Birthday sweet, Emma. I love hearing about what a sweet girl you are continuing to become.
    And well done, mama.

  • tia

    November 13, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    this post makes me a little choked up because it all goes so fast and my own six year old will be just like this tomorrow!

  • carolyn

    November 13, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    hahaha! Loves Baby Soft!!!! I love it!!!! :c )
    my little one will turn 2 this month, and I know I’ll blink and she’ll be eleven. Bittersweet, scary, exciting….
    Happy Birthday to your dear sweet girl!

  • jen

    November 13, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    i have have a big/little 11 year girl too. it’s a fun and perplexing time. i’m trying so hard to remember what this time felt like to me. i can actually conjure the scent of loves baby soft.

  • martha

    November 14, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    that made me ache a little, remembering the fun and agony of being 11.
    Happy birthday emma!

  • Stephanie

    November 17, 2009 at 7:16 am

    Happy Birthday Emma! Eleven feels like yesterday to me, even though it wasn’t. Isn’t it funny how fast we all grow up?

  • nicole freire

    November 19, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Oh, I have a tweener too! I’ve got some good book recommendations — one is called “How to Hug a Porcupine” and the other is “The Rollercoaster Years”
    They have been a great resource, especially for those days when nothing seems to be going right.
    Good luck, I hope the books help.

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