My biggest little isn't so little anymore. She's growing fast and I didn't want to miss documenting this space she's in now... this transitionary period. I don't feel like the tween years get enough credit, and when they are acknowledged it's too often as a warning of the treacherous waters of puberty that lie just around the bend.
Well I'm not scared, I've become quite the pro at surfing the waves of female hormonal flux. And besides, I've been looking forward to the teen years. I know, I know, I know... that's just crazy talk, but it's true.
The tween and teen years might have some emotional challenges, but that's kind of just the case with all of childhood. At least now she's got a robust emotional vocabulary to work through those challenges and no longer requires me reminding her to use her "big girl words". She's kind and funny and helpful and fairly self-sufficient. She still needs her mom sometimes but not that "keep me from drowning in the bathtub or playing in traffic" kind of need, but more of that "share your wisdom with me on love and life and relationship and how to navigate this whole being human thing" kind of need.
She's learning abstraction.
She is becoming reasonable.
That 10-11-12 space is bittersweet. I'm sitting here in the midst of it trying to be as conscious of this space as I am of that fleeting first year that T is in. I am overwhelmed with joy as I watch the truly beautiful person she is growing into, and then I get a bit sentimental when I catch a glimpse of the childhood, the child, she is leaving behind.
The tween years seem to be the least documented time period. Least documented because why? This stage is every bit as fleeting as T's first year or O's Tow-Mater phase (which is coming to an end as I type this and I thankfully did take the time to document it with photos).
I understand that their heads are still too small for their grownup teeth, blemishes are making their first appearance and their bodies are transitioning from child to adult. It feels awkward. It sometimes looks awkward. But it's also beautiful, and I was confident that I could capture images of her that she would fall in love with. (She did, by the way, love them!)
They doubt how the pictures will turn out, we doubt how the pictures will turn out, and the images rarely get made. I understand why the pictures don't get made, and I wanted to share with you my thoughts on why they should get made.
For a glimpse into the future, a look at the adult they're growing into.
To preserve those precious last moments where you can still see their sweet baby face in their smile.
To boost their confidence as they embark on their journey of self-discovery.
Can you think of another reason why the tween years should be documented? Share it with us in the comments below!