Reia will turn 9 this year. Her last year in the single digits. She's also the people pleaser and mom pleaser. Which is great for a mom who likes control. Like me.
Where Reese puts makeup on more days than I do, and can accessorize like no body's business, Reia has always been more a creature of comfort. No makeup, no ear piercing, jeans and t-shirts for everyday wear. And I've always been good with that. I still have most of the say in her life. But this year when we were online looking at backpacks, she picked a black LL Bean. Not a stitch of girly color on that bad boy.
Momma? Not thrilled.
(This battle isn't over just yet. Reason with her.) "Honey, I'm buying one of these that will last you through middle school. Are you sure you don't want red or blue or any other color than black?"
(She won't be dissuaded.)"I want black."
(I am still the mother here.) "But, then you are stuck with black. For. A. Long. Time."
(Mom, I'm growing up. Let me make the decision.) "Black."
(One last hail Mary) "Ok, I will order the black bag. But I am NOT buying another color if you decide you want something more feminine."
I'm used to Reese wearing crazy things or lip gloss to school. Those are not the battles I choose to fight with her. (I mean, there are so many to choose from.) With Reia, the battles are few, and I rarely lose. But at some point I have to let her begin to make her own decisions. The kind she has to live with.
This wasn't a battle over a black backpack. This was her own acknowledgement that she is growing up and wants to be trusted. I will slowly (and I mean VERY SLOWLY) be sitting on the sidelines more and more with advice instead of directives. Praying that I'm letting go at the right pace. And watching my sweet baby turn into a beautiful young lady who I am proud to call my daughter.
**On a side note, she also got black tennis shoes. But they did have a hot pink stripe up the side. Score one for mom. =)