Best of Both Worlds

A new year has begun. I have a brand-new planner, brand-new goals, and a brand-new positive outlook. I’m full of hope and excitement for the upcoming year. This is despite the fact that my daughter is now officially a tween.

Perhaps I have finally come to terms with Story growing up. I’m certainly learning to appreciate all that comes with it. She gets herself up and ready almost every morning. (Sometimes, she still needs some motivation.) She is interested in learning to cook and is excited to try out recipes from the cookbook she got for Christmas. She is capable of doing many chores and understands that she has responsibilities to the household. She brushes her teeth without being told!

But in some ways, she is still my baby. She still enjoys a good snuggle now and then. She still can’t tie her shoelaces correctly. She is still way too trusting of all people. She still pretends to be animals on an almost-daily basis. Her Christmas list is still mostly toys. She still believes in Santa, kinda.

Story is a tween. While the word filled me with dread for years, I have come to understand just how spot-on it is. Story is in between worlds. She still has the wonder and imagination of a child but with the capacity to ponder and reason as an adult.

Conversations have become much more interesting. She can compare a book and its movie counterpart on a level that leaves me in awe. In the next moment, she is telling me all about the dragon world she created in minute detail, complete with sound effects.

Her relationships are becoming more complex. No longer is she best friends with whoever is with her at the moment. Now, she has a genuine circle of friends and experiences the ups and downs of relationships but is unable to articulate those complex situations and emotions.

Her body is changing, and she has developed a self-awareness that I never thought I would see in her. And it’s not always good, try as I might to guide her toward understanding and self-confidence. And yet, she stays true to herself amid the pressures surrounding her.

So, you may be wondering why I am looking forward to a year of tears, tantrums, and other such tween-nesses. It’s because right now, I also have the best of both worlds at the same time.