She will be seven next month. On the cusp of some kind of girlhood that is racing through childhood and not yet adolescence. On the brink of bigger things, a sureness of herself is stirring and showing itself in tiny glimpses as she makes her own breakfast and ties her own shoes and chooses her own things and makes up her own mind. She knows more of what she wants. She knows more of the world, she knows more than just the things I have taught her.
My daughter is finding her way. She is careful and thoughtful. She is also daring and unafraid. She switches back and forth from big girl to my little baby as she reads novels in the bathtub with her feet propped up and yet still crawls into my bed to find me in the night. She snuggles a stuffie and paints her toenails. I can hardly pick her up. She can lift me off the ground.
My daughter is growing, and I guess that means so am I. Learning about her... it is impossible to know everything. Every day I am learning about her, as she discovers more and more about herself. Understanding more complex thoughts and coming to her own conclusions. Disagreeing with opinions. Feeling empathy for others. Thinking first about her planet before she thinks about what she'd like. She is seeing things on a bigger scale, she is part of a community. She is more aware of the people in her life. And she loves them fiercely.
My daughter is competitive and trying to understand it. She is learning tools that will guide her in so many ways in her life. She is gaining the confidence she ought to have - that every girl ought to have in a world so intent on exploiting women. I do everything I can to teach her how to be strong and powerful, and then she's got to do it for herself.
She is turning seven and I am watching her with eyes wide open, astonished by the wild and the love and the heart that comes beaming out of this child.
And then, each night, I tuck her in to bed so she can lose herself in worlds of fantasy and story and tall tales and beautiful endings... and it's the end of the day and she simply doesn't want it to end.
And I am filled with her hunger for life, for learning, for knowing, for caring, for loving...and it inspires me to do the same.