Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My Girl

The girl is on the cusp of being a teenager. She's not much of a girl anymore as she is quite a young lady. She's in that ditch of not old enough to give up her toys and play time but old enough to enjoy many adult pleasures such as shopping, decorating, drinking coffee and some romantic comedies.

However, I'm wondering when she will become more organized and yearn to care for her things.

This young lady wants to save everything. Wrappers, movie stubs, broken crayons, beads, broken jewlery, paper, paper, paper, paper, and envelopes from every letter and invitation she has ever received. She displays everything. She loves to wrap and tie things up. Yesterday, I found a shoe box wrapped in tissue paper then bound in packing tape. What was in this box that she spent so much time covering? An envelope, just a plain white envelope with an equal amount of packing tape sealing every inch of it. I'm sure it was for some big event that she was hatching up.

She spent the night at a friend's house so I went into her room and de-cluttered. I found all the missing chess pieces and all the missing hairbands. I flushed out her drawers and threw out a shameful amount of paper. God help her if a fire ever starts in her room.

This is how she has been her whole little life. I don't get it. I was the kid that lovingly cared for my things and preserved them long enough to give to my sweet daughter who in a minute destroyed the plastic horse, stuffed animals, porcelian doll etc... that I gave her thinking she would do the same. I spent hours in my room organizing my desk, using gingham printed paper to line my drawers and putting my clothes in order. My daughter has never felt the need to organize anything, ever.

I must say this has caused some strife in our relationship. I wonder if she'll treat her home the same way or if her children will be super organized and drive her crazy with how they want to keep their rooms put together. I don't know.

I do know that for all the mess she makes she does a lot of sweet things too. I don't know many girls that love their brothers as much as she does. She gets so upset if they don't want to play with her or be in the same room with her. She loves to write sweet notes to me and her siblings. She made a pot at camp for me and inside of it wrote; To Mom you're my inspiration. She has habits that cannot be broken like; everynight she finds her dad and I, wherever we may be, to hug, kiss and say goodnight and a prayer has to be said before every single meal. Traditions are never overlooked like picking the meals out for your birthday, getting new PJs for Christmas or going to the park after getting ice cream. She is consistent with these things.

I'm prepping myself to let a tiny bit of her go this year. She'll start attending classes at a school and spend less time at home. My mind is full of questions like:
-Is she prepared to take on the extra work from this school?
-Have I taught her well enough?
-Is she going to be influenced too much by some of the other kids?
-Are we doing the right thing by sending her?
I just don't know and then again I do. I know she is a sweet girl and that she is going to do fine. Right?

She's my only girl, my little girl, my big girl, my young lady, my daughter. I only get one chance to raise her. Sometimes I'd like to have a do-over so I could enjoy her more.


Anonymous said...

April--is E aristic? Sounds vaguely familiar to ME Paper fetish for all my life.Denise

Anonymous said...

oops I meant artistic!!!!!!!!!!!

wen said...

april--i'm the somewhat messy progeny of two very neatnick parents! (one grew up in a super-clean home, the other in a messy one). anyway, there are books about organizing for the kind of kid your daughter seems to be. one is called something like 'organizing for right brainers' by lee silber.

i'd encourage you not to toss too much of her stuff (not stuff she'd notice, anyway) without her permission, becuase i know when my mom did that with my stuff, it felt icky!

also, have you ever shown her, explicity, how to do something like organize a drawer? if she's creative, maybe let *her* come up with the way to organized stuff...make it a game.

good luck! it sounds like you have a great kid and are a very caring mom.

Antique Mommy said...

My sweet boy is only two and a half and I am already feeling like I need a do-over. He is in a phase of opposing me at every turn and I try to realize it's just a stage of development (and not because I didn't breast feed him) But sometimes it makes me cry anyway.

A very sweet post. I love your blog.

april said...

Yes, I would say she's artistic to the point of grossness. I have to feed that fire for her a lot by making a craft or letting her paint something. She can't leave anything alone.

Yes, I've shown her how to organize a drawer....my way. I'm trying a lot harder to let her have her own system, it's a painful thing. Thanks for the book refrences, I'll take a look at them.

jennifer said...

Great post. I think you'll find E will grow out of some of her "not-so-neat" tendencies. And, if she doesn't, you've already pointed out what a great young lady she is becoming despite being organizationally challenged.