One of the themes they learned in preschool (with the BEST Montessori teacher ever....thank you Miss Margo...) was "growing and changing", whether that was with plants, or in themselves. Whenever I would assume they liked or disliked something (ex. "I thought you hated peanut butter...") they would pointedly remark, "I'm growing and changing, Mama."
Each year on the first day of school I take a picture of them standing at our front door. It's amazing to see those pictures lined up. In the first, Hannah is alone carrying a backpack that's bigger than her. Then there's their first year together in school, each of them clutching their lunchboxes. In this year's picture they look so happy and sure of themselves. I think back to my own sullen days as a teenager and am so glad to see them this way!
Of course, they are not always "happy campers". We're always having lengthy discussions (ok, I know, they are really lectures...I just can't stop myself) about all the dangers out in the world, and how easily an impulsive wrong decision can change your life for the worse in a split second, etc. etc. I tell them that I trust them, it's the world I'm scared of, but as is natural at this age they want more freedom, more choices, etc. And of course, we are the ONLY PARENTS IN THE WORLD who are this closed minded, etc. etc. Every now and then I'll have a conversation with another beleaguered parent about these things and we always end up saying something like "well, I'm glad I'm not the only one...". I get the feeling we're all recipients of that ONLY PARENTS IN THE WORLD comment ...
This morning Sofia made breakfast for us, a very new thing in this household. We had a talk about colleges and what to look for, where to go, balancing wants and opportunities, scholarships, etc. They were reacting kind of "deer in the headlights" because it seems so far away to them but it's really only 2 years away for Hannah and 4 for Sofia, and time goes by so fast.
After that conversation Sofia came to me and said "Mama, I think I want to be a jounalist" - I was so HAPPY because that's what I originally wanted to become! I told her that I thought it was a good career because it has a lot of flexibility, you can be in publishing, in newspapering, in magazines, freelance, on staff, web based, etc. And, you can combine it with your other interests, ie. music, fashion, science, medicine, politics, travel. I want her to have the world wide open to her though, and told her she has plenty of time to decide and to keep her options open.
Later today Hannah and I took Chinche (dog) for a bath at the "Dirty Dawgz Self Service Pet Wash"--an excellent concept by the way--and then had lunch together at the Cosmic Cafe. It was so nice to have lunch together just us and I started musing about the near future (next 10 years...) and how, soon we wouldn't be living together anymore...and won't share the daily routine of life together. It's a natural part of life, of growing up, and also unimaginable to me. They are indeed growing and changing.