Something Unsettling Has Happened

Four and a half years ago when they came to live with us, #4 looked like this:

Little, messy, cute. You can also see her in my header picture above: I’m in the Mustang with #3, #4 and #5. She’s wearing the same shirt and I’m not entirely convinced the pictures were taken the same day. I think she wore that shirt all week.

This week I turned around and saw this (and, of course, snapped a picture):

Umm, yeah.

Kids grow up. I get it. I’ve seen it happen and every parent seems shocked when it happens to their kids. But here’s the thing: I’ve watched her four siblings change too, and that didn’t surprise me.

#5 is exactly like his Dad. They both value making people laugh, bacon, and boobies. Every change in #5 brings him closer to that.

From the very beginning I could see the spark of who the three oldest girls were becoming. The opposite of an afterimage. I merely stood by and witnessed. Cool, yes, definitely. An honor.

But not exactly surprising. More like watching an image coming into focus, like on a Polaroid. You know it’s coming and it’s fun to watch the edges sharpen, the color blossom, the picture become clear.

Maybe it had to do with their ages when they came to us. Maybe it’s more about this one being the most ethereal. The one most likely to be taken by elves.

But this one, this #4.

I didn’t see it coming. Caught me totally off guard.

She had a choir concert this week, that’s the reason for the dress. I was putting her to bed that night and I told her how pretty and grown up she looked. She said, “I know, it’s crazy, right?” She then proceeded to tell me not to worry, that I would only see her dressed that way for 5th grade promotion (in a couple weeks), 8th grade promotion, her prom, and high school graduation.

I’m glad she stopped there. That was all a bit much for me. She doesn’t even wear a bra yet.

Oh, thank god. She’s still in there.

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27 thoughts on “Something Unsettling Has Happened

  1. It breaks your heart, doesn’t it? I freaked when girls started giggling over my oldest boy and he likedit. I don’t want to think about the girls growing up yet.

    This is a completely obscure movie reference, but do you remember “She’s Out of Control” with Tony Danza in it? His daughter is kind of nerdy, braces, frizzy hair, funny, he goes away on a business trip, comes back, she’s 80’s fabulous and he follows her on her dates. Ringing any bells? Well, that is my husband in a few years, but with a shotgun. Poor girls. 🙂

      1. True. Our #2 has pj pants where the bottom of the leg bits are about three inches above his ankles – and he’s the one who eats the least. I can see this isn’t going to end well. 🙂

  2. Ohh, I love this and totally get it. Unfortunately. My younger girl is your #4 equivalent and it stuns me when I see her becoming such a young lady. Where did that clumsy, thumbsucking, hair-in-a-nest, disheveled girl go? My older boy? Forget about it…his voice has deepened so much I almost don’t recognize it. I love that #4 gave you such reassuring words the other night. I can understand why elves would take her.

    BTW, my husband saw that pic of #4 and the KISS album and he freaked. I showed him your post and he said, “What is that? I don’t have that?” Is is a bootleg version of something I don’t have?” Can I follow her on Twitter?” I think he may stalk you soon and try to find out what #4 is holding in that picture.

    Nice post.

  3. Wow, compared to the header pic they look like totally different kids….need to take a new updated pic in ther same poses and put it in the header.

    They grow up so fast.

  4. I loved how you described it as “More like watching an image coming into focus, like on a Polaroid. You know it’s coming and it’s fun to watch the edges sharpen, the color blossom, the picture become clear.”

    So true!

  5. That was wonderful to read, but also sad. It reminded me of my daughter who was one day a Tomboy, then the next day “BOO!” she was a young lady. Now my young lady has one of her own and I remind her constantly, nothing lasts forever.

  6. Ummm yeah, it freaks me out. As you said, you know it’s coming, and it’s fun, but one day it just slaps you in the face, it startles you, and scares you a little. Kids grow up….quickly. I’m now going to make my 16 year old step son kiss me goodnight and then cry myself to sleep. Great post.

  7. One of life’s blessings is getting to watch the pups grow up. I showed your post to my human and he stopped writing long enough to read your blog. The stress drained from his face (He just signed a two book deal) and he smiled. He said, “It’s good to see someone who really savors that mystic experience that “raisin chillin” is. It’s over all to soon.” He looked at the pics of his 47 and 45 year old and the grands, sighed, and picked up the phone. Thanks ASM!
    Sandy
    http://www.sandysays1.wordpress.com

  8. I don’t have kids (it would be sort of weird having kids seeing as I am growing out of one… yeah yeah I still think I am a kid at nearly 20), but its really weird watching my nephews grow up so quickly! I mean… yesterday I was playing silly games with him and teaching him the alphabet and now he is 15 😐

  9. I don’t have kids of my own, but my brother does and I’ve watched them grow over the years. It happens so fast! A minute ago I could lift the six year old up over my shoulders, now it’s impossible. The one that was once an infant can now speak. It actually genuinely scares me how fast it happens. I think #4 will be aging faster over the years, too, especially if you’re not paying attention like I was. Cherish what you have with them, every moment of every day! Before you know it they may think they’re too cool to associate with you… in which case, give it another decade, then you can sit down and have a few beers with them. lol.

  10. This gives me hope that my 4 year old daughter who loves to dress like a princess will one day decide that farting and burping aren’t so “princess-like”.

Comment. It gives me a reason not to clean my house.

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