Are little girls growing up faster today than they ever did when we were kids??
A stupid question coming from my now much wiser self … I was once a silly little girl that made some terribly silly choices all because of a want to grow up too fast BUT I am sure that at 6 nearly 7 I was not in the hurry that my daughter is. In a hurry to be a “fully grown teenager”, to own a convertible “covered in glitter”, to be a veterinarian “that only looks after the cute animals” and to have a boyfriend “but not get married Mum because then I will only have one boy to buy me flowers”!!
Aha clarity! There it is, in black and white … she IS still a little girl …. MY gorgeous little girl that has dreams, wants and aspirations but with no concept of what the world really is or what commitment we make to it for a lifetime. She is not yet tarnished by responsibility and obligation and nor should her dreams ever be.
Meet my daughter Grace, Grace Miriam … named after my Great Grandmother and Mother … and she has the perfect mix of their combined sugars and spices.
Grace has had me pondering her growing up too fast a lot lately and it has recently run off the back of her asking me a single question. A fairly simple question that, had I been proud of my own life choices, I would have been able to answer honestly and without hesitation.
THE QUESTION: “Mummy, how old were you when you moved out of home?” … my stomach hit the floor like a piano falling from the sky … the dramatic metaphoric scattering of black and white keys was deafening to me!
I didn’t know what to tell her because I didn’t want to condone the decision that I had made all those years ago. So I didn’t lie … liars and thieves have no place in my world … but I didn’t give her any details …
THE RESPONSE: “I was very young darling”. Thinking this would pacify her concerns and I would never have to discuss the topic again. WRONG. Grace then says to me “Well Mummy, Aunty Georgea told me that she was six when you moved out of home and because you are ten years older than her that means you were 16.” *gushes with pride over her logic and simultaneously feels like a rocket has gone off in ones stomach and is heading north at a rapid rate* “I worked it out Mummy, and I am right!” and the only response I could utter …. a very quiet, “Yes, Dear” …
And she WAS right … I packed my bags and ran away from home, in the middle of the night, at the tender age of 16. I was only a naive teenager when I thought that my 16 year old self could take on the world, hold down a job, pay to survive and still fulfill my dreams of a university degree and worldwide travel . Oh how I was wrong. The dream came crashing down in only weeks of my departure from the creature comforts housed at my parents address. All because of a split second, life changing decision …
Don’t get me wrong, I have done OK. I have worked hard and committed to an industry that is always going to have a place in our community. In reward of my hard work my company looks after me with a brilliant role and a respectable income BUT, is this my dream job? NO. There are very few people that do get the opportunity to take up position in the seat that plants them flat smack in the middle of their dream. I don’t begrudge the universe for not delivering me ultimate dream fulfillment but I do rue my decisions that had me not at the very least attempting to see them fulfilled.
LEARNT: I do not want to see the pain that was in my mother’s eyes 15 years ago, reflected in my own in 10.
This moment of clarity made me realise that I want Grace to not only have dreams (which we all want for our children) but to have the ability, will and drive to also fulfill them. SO this Saturday I have a date. I have a date with my curly haired little girl and I am going to answer her questions and I am going to answer them honestly. I am going to make sure she knows that no matter what dream she is passionate about that she has the power to fulfill it. I may not be able to hold her hand on this road forever but I can help her find her dream map and hope that, once she knows how to read it, that she never loses sight of it …
DEAR GRACE: May your world forever be full of sparkly convertibles and the cutest of animals. I hope that you get bought countless bouquets throughout this lifetime – whether they be from your choice of many a wonderful man, or your forever wonderful man, you will always deserve the seasons best. My Darling Girl. I love you. MUMMY xxx
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I am a wife, a mother, a businesswoman, a wishful poet and a hopeless dreamer. My favourite moment is that split second when laughter becomes
tears, my husband and my children take me to that place. I write from my soul for words are what feed it. Books are my treasures and art is their
bookmarks – my home is filled with both. This is my place to be me and share what I see as beautiful in this world … Come along for the ride (but take note, I can not read a map)!