Thursday, January 24, 2013

And now, a word.

about seven year-olds.

Notice I didn't title this post "About Seven Year-olds" because let's be real, who would ever read it? Certainly not I. 

Snoozefest, I would think. Truth. 
Pre-motherhood, when one conjures up a lively image of their offspring, I think it safe to say it is generally not the 7-12 year old range one fantasizes about. Or, come to think of it: the 13 through....hmmm, like 22 ages either?
 Instead we like to think of our little babies. Our chubby infants. Our squishy toddlers, our little little people. Like extensions of a good handbag, animated and adorable accessories tightly bound within our sphere of control. And even when they are behaving out of that sphere of control, well heck: at least they are just so darn itty bitty and CAH-ute. Right? Exactly.

But legitimate, growing, gangly Children? BIG kids? The kind that talk all of the time and make lame jokes and speak clearly but are in no position to pose as even mildly intellectually stimulating, always telling way too long stories and begging you to take them to see cinematic gems like Air Bud 3?


Pre-motherhood, I used to joke to friends that I planned on surviving through my childrens' older years by slowly rationing out the excessive adoration I would feel for them up to the age of 5. I figured it would have to be enough to last from 7-19 years, when I would start to really like them again.


Fast forward now.

I stand, brushing her hair. Weaving a bright teal blue colored Hello Kitty hair extension into her french braid. It's a fantastically tacky hair piece. And yet, I'm excited. Just wait till she sees how it flows in her golden waves, peeking in and out of the layers of separate color. We practice spelling words and discuss which friends she wants to play with at recess in the coming afternoon. She loads her toothbrush with the correct amount of toothpaste and begins rigorously brushing, smiling to show me how many bubbles she's created that foam over into the sink.Once rinsed, we re-wiggle the loose tooth she's anxiously waiting on. Almost. I reassure. Almost! Not too much longer.

She stands up and examines her hair in the mirror. I give her a smaller hand mirror to hold against the large wall mounted one for a thorough panoramic of all that Hello Kitty blue awesome going on everywhere. A wide, self satisfactory grin flashes across her face. A favorite smile.

She gently runs her hand over her hair, down the side of her cheek and looks squarely - confidently - in the mirror,

"I'm seven."

she remarks in just above a whisper. Even she cannot believe it.

"Yep, you sure are Lu-Bug. My big birthday girl. 
My grown up lady. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L lady."

We load up the car. I wrestle the toddler, constantly remind and prod the 5 year-old to get her boots on, and buckle the baby tightly. 

You have your backpack, Lily?




Homework folder? 




Can you help your London get her shoe on please?


Later, I drop off the little bitties with my mother so I can deliver a special birthday lunch and cupcakes to her class. I arrive just before lunch to see her, all smiles upon my entrance. Her classmates gather round and begin asking her, "Hey Lily! Is that your Mom?!! Hey Lily?! Is that your Mom?!" These are big, legitimate children. She nods her head proudly and points, "Yep! That's my Mom!" 

We walk to the lunchroom hand in hand and she jumps up and down as I pull the Port of Sub sandwiches from my bag (her favorite). I sit with her, among her classmates. I hear awesomely way too long stories and incredibly lame jokes. I indulged in delivering a few laugh bombs myself to the captive audience, to which Lils responded with her newest signature "moTHER" eye roll and giggles.  I pass out the cupcakes, and the class waits patiently for the birthday girl to take the first bite before they can dig in themselves (a class tradition). 

After school, I pick up a gaggle of girls and we drive to Walgreens to load up on treats. We stuff our coat sleeves and hoods with twizzlers and sour patch kids and head to the theater for the latest 7 year-old inspired movie hit. I sit next to the big girl. She leans her head on my shoulder and I watch her eyes twinkle contentedly in the screenlight. 

That night, after tucking them into bed, I hear London begin her usual protests of sleep. She begins to complain, worried about the (completely animated G rated) movie we saw that afternoon that will now inevitably haunt her dweams (dreams). 

Lily chimed in with the following wise counsel:

london, i'm going to tell you something that mom told me when i was little.

bad dreams aren't real. they don't come to life. in your brain. they aren't alive.

like aliens, are aliens going to come to our earth? No. no they aren't. because they can't breathe here.

robots? robots are real. but nice.

zombies aren't real either.

just like on halloween, i was scared and crying.

oh! oh! like in my head! chopped up lady! chopped up lady!

not real! okay?

London responded, 

Lulee, can you pwease not say dat?

I closed their door, attempting to mask my laughter. 


It was at the end of this day that I briefly recounted my old assumptions.
 The realization dawned on me: 
I was so very wrong. 
{big shocker there.}

Thank you
thank you
thank you
for my big seven year-old.
she is
{but then again, You already knew that}

scenes from the day

pizza time!


The Mrs. said...

Seven is Heaven, in my book!!

Artfulife said...

Awwwww, looks like they all had so much fun!

Emily Anne said...

I have loved seven, just loved it.
And Henry still hugs me when I come to help in his class - i'll be so sad when that ends.