is she 16, or…

I recalled the other day a conversation I once had with a doctor or psychologist many years ago.  I asked this person if there would be a time when my girl “peaks” and then the development slows in relation to her biological age.  I wondered if she would continue the trend. I had it in my very naive mind that it would be something like this: when she was 8 it was like she was 5, when she was 12 it was like she was 8, so on……so would she someday be 30 and be like 25?  That question was the one that really wanted to be answered.

I am beginning to realize that the answer to that is no.  She is 16.  And yet, she is so much more like she is 8, 9, or 10.  We have peaked at that developmental age.  There are glimpses of 16 at times, however those moments are quickly faded to the unrealistic and immature thoughts of a young girl.  I experience more often glimpses of a young girl dealing with young girl issues.  Accepting apologies from a peer, ordering her own meal, remembering to change shirts, worrying about sickness, hoping to go get ice cream after dinner.

I often forget that she is 16. I am usually reminded when I am around families where their 16 year old girl is typical. Wow, what would it be like? It is unimaginable. I am often perplexed at my relief for having to not have those typical experiences to grief for the normalcy that must exist.

My standard cycle is to go from panic about her adult life to almost oblivion about her current life.  I am so accustomed to what is, that I forget about what isn’t. I wonder if I am working hard enough to develop skills?

Has my acceptance of the gift that she is actually blurred my vision of what she could be?


2 thoughts on “is she 16, or…

  1. I’m sure you get more advice than a soul truly needs and yet…

    I was moved by your doubts and I thought it worth saying…

    My son is fourteen, without any extra challenges beyond being 14! Everyday I am struck with doubts as to how I, as a single mum (and a ‘perfectionist’ or is it ‘anal’ parent) am doing raising my son.

    Am I pushing him hard enough? Am I spoiling him? Am I being too demanding, not demanding enough?

    Am I encouraging him to bring out his potential balanced with encouraging him to enjoy every moment of the blessing of life?

    Your girl will develop the necessary life skills just through each day habit. You will help her compensate for those things she particularly struggles with as you both define these things (my understanding is this learning curve for both of you wont be complete till she’s in her early twenties).

    And along the way live in that acceptance of the gift she is so she too can, for in my humble opinion, that is the greatest gift you are giving her.

    Love your writing. cheers…Leesa

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