At some point in the last 2 years, my daughter has become a new person. Someone I don't really recognize. I hate admitting that I am finding it increasingly difficult to maintain some sort of connection with her.
Before Hurricane she was my sole focus.
Sure she had friends she played with and I had things that had to be done each day and hobbies outside of being her mom. But there was no one else to take the attention away from her.
We still spend time together, just the two of us. But it isn't as often and it's certainly not the same.
I don't think it's a direct result of having her brother. Naturally there is a bit less time to focus on playing with her dolls or letting her 'braid' my hair. It can be exhausting keeping up with both of them. Spending quality time with each alone and making sure things around the house are taken care of and no one loses an eye has harried us a bit.
Still. It seems to me that somewhere between the ages of 6 and 8, she became someone else. Someone more.
Someone separate from me.
She is beginning to push her limits, making more and more of her own decisions. Who she plays with, what she wears, what she plays. She no longer seeks my opinion and has taken to rolling her eyes if I make a suggestion.
I know it's something that I have to learn to adapt to, her as her own person. But I can't help being a little bit sad for the little girl being left behind, and a little bit afraid of this new person rolling her eyes at me.
It wasn't that long ago that I was admiring her for being braver than I was as a kid. Now I'm longing for the days when she was content to let me help her with her dresses.
I know it sounds so stupid but when she was a baby I never thought about the fact that someday she would grow up and ask me to be her a tube top (which was met with a "over my dead body").
I have no idea what the rules are here, only that I have to set them and give her enough room to learn who she is, yet stay close enough to help her when she gets hurt. It's a tedious balancing act and I am sucking at it.
Not a day has gone by this summer that she hasn't back-talked and I haven't wanted to run screaming from the house. I could run to the left and be in Canada in 3 hours.
I love her. Period.
I just miss being able to connect with her the way we used to. And it's terrifying to think that it could always be like this.