Remember when we were kids, and someone would ask, “how old are you now?” Excitedly, proudly even, we’d answer, “nine, and I’m going to be ten in four months!” I was reminded of those days during the holiday. There were two older girls where we were staying, who were really sweet to Zee. Chatting to them, I asked how old they were, and the older one replied, “my sister’s eleven, and I’m twelve, but I’m going to be thirteen soon!” I caught that twinkle in her eye as she said the words, the barely contained excitement over the thought of getting older, becoming a teenager, being grown up and fabulous.
How things change… Hit your thirties, and there’s no joyful response to that question. A cynical snort maybe, or a scowl if you’re feeling particularly sensitive about the age thing that day. Funny how back then we couldnt wait for the next number, now that wait couldn’t be long enough.
On a serious note though, I’m going to be thirty five soon, and the truth is I’m ok with that. The part that scares me, is how quickly its come. Not in a bad way, like ugh I’m so old… am I going to have grey hair now?… are those marks on the mirror, or are they lines on my skin?… No, nothing like that – not that I want any of those delightful things which come with getting older, but I’m not losing any sleep over it. The part that actually freaks me out is that every year I get older, my little baby is growing too, and isn’t that much of a baby anymore.
On NYE, we were at my uncle’s place, together with my mom and dad. Zee was having a blast with my little cousins, playing in the pool at 10pm, chatting about ballet, and roasting marshmallows on the braai. She was having such fun, she was still wide awake at midnight! On hearing that it was 2017, she hugged me and said (beaming from ear to ear), “mommy, I’m officially seven and a half!”
You see, Zee is at that stage where she’s now counting down to the next age, and is quite excited about being “a big girl” – this, despite me telling her she’ll be my baby even at forty! 😀 She’d asked in November I think it was, if she was seven and a half yet, and I responded that she would only be seven and a half in January. Thus the excitement when the clock struck twelve. Needless to say, I quickly informed her that she would only be seven and a half at the end of the month, in an attempt to hold on to the baby-ness just that tiny bit longer.
Then yesterday rolled around, and Facebook gave me this:
Like, “your baby’s seven and a half now. Deal with it.” So I did, with a mini photo shoot of course, to remember the time my baby turned seven and a half. Officially. Because, what else can us mommies do, but stop being in denial, and accept the natural order of things… They will grow; they will become more independent, and say more often “it’s ok mommy, I’ve got this” *sniff*. They will eventually feel we’re not as cool as they once thought… And we have to deal as best we can, savoring every baby-ish moment along the way, taking as many photos as we can to treasure forever, and appreciating the moments when they need us even as they’re busy getting older and wanting to do it all on their own.