Can I first say that I’m freaking out that both my kids are TWEENS? What is happening right now? My son is 10 and my daughter just turned 9. I wanted to blog about this milestone and I was unsure what age to call them: are they “big kids?” “older kids?” Then I googled “tween” and it said “ages 8-12.” These are the “between” years. My kids are between kid and teenager right now. (WHAT?)
My daughter is trying out for her school talent show tomorrow. She is cool as a cucumber while I have a million butterflies in my stomach. My kid is trying out for something! It could be the most exciting moment ever if she gets into this talent show or she could be devastated if she finds out later in the week that she did not make the cut. This is tough stuff.
There are so many milestones with children and I’ve limped my way to the finish line with most of them by now. My kids sleep through the night. My kids poop on the potty. My kids eat solid foods and can dress themselves. My kids walk and ride bikes. They know their address and they know how to write their name. In cursive too! They are kind, healthy kids and I’m so blessed. So can I take a deep breath and feel like I’ve conquered all this milestone mania?
Well, no. These “tween” milestones are different, but they are still there. Most of them are emotionally charged. Those baby and little kid milestones felt like survival mode. I wanted to keep my kid alive and developmentally on track. Now you have to help protect your kid’s heart from breaking. And that’s basically impossible.
Kids can be mean. School is complicated. The world is bigger. Now my girl faces rejection and I need to figure out how I’m going to react. Sure, she’s joined sports and clubs. The key word here is “joined.” She’s a girl scout. She’s a dancer. She’s in choir. She’s a basketball player. All because she wanted to do it and someone said, “Yes!” I paid some money and she was in! But now she has to try out. They might say, “NO.”
These tween milestones feel so much heavier because this is something my daughter will remember. She won’t remember walking for the very first time, but she will remember getting rejected. But I’m praying this memory will be about the day she sang a Moana song in front of her entire school during the end-of-year talent show. Either way, it’s a moment we BOTH will never forget.