At 5:50 p.m. tonight I will have been a mother for 10 years. I have to be precise about the time because Clover is exact about things like that and insists she's nine until her birth minute hits. But really, motherhood began the second I found out I was pregnant, with all of the bed rest, horrible morning sickness, saying goodbye to caffeine for awhile and to my normal-sized ankles forever. Clover took over my body immediately. I was horribly sick, ate only refried beans for weeks (that includes breakfast which should make anyone ill), and craved sugar. At age 10, Clover would be perfectly content to live off of refried beans and Laffy Taffy. I've known her from the start.
She's always been strong and independent, but now her age is starting to match that. Now 10, soon 13, then 16, and then off to college. The pace is quickening, whether I like it or not.
I'm lucky for so many things, but one that I reflect on often is that Clover is her age. Her interests are that of a girl, not a girl desperate to be a teenager. Those things will come, but she's in no hurry to get there. She's comfortable with herself, and she doesn't change to fit in, trusting that people will like her as she is. And they do. She's smart and sweet, with a range of interests so diverse, it was mentioned by her fifth grade teacher during her parent-teacher conference. One minute she's drawing cats and other cute creatures, then the next, she's talking about fantasy football stats, he said. The girl has range.
Coincidentally, this is an appropriate time to change her room. With the remodel, it's time to repaint and redecorate, and she's seized this opportunity...and the Pottery Barn Teen catalog. Left behind will be the cutesy quilt on the little girl's bed, replaced with an ombre duvet cover, and a loft bed. There will still be Legos, stuffies with names, and enough books to fill a library. Signs of childhood continued, and not yet nostalgia for her past.
Oh Clo, the last 10 years went by fast, and the next 10 will go by in a blink. Learning to walk was a big milestone of your early years, but the next 10 will be about learning to fly.
I'll admit, I'm a little nervous about this next decade, but I cannot wait to watch you bloom. Ten years ago, you made me what I am, a mom. I love you, sweet Clover.