Entering a New Stage, Together

I have a lot of experience with children. In addition to teaching dance, I was also a preschool and infant teacher before becoming a mommy. That is, before Honeybun came along and changed my life forever.

I completed my M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education around her first birthday, and since then I’ve delved even further into the area of child development. I feel pretty confident in my understanding of early childhood education and child development in the early years. But early childhood covers the ages of birth through eight years old.

Today my first baby is NINE.

I’ve officially reached the stage where I can truthfully say I have no freaking idea what I’m doing in this whole parenting thing!

Before, I could always rely on my prior knowledge. Even though most of my experience was with the under five crowd, I could fall back on what I learned in school or my own personal exploration of child development.

But I sit here today and am terrified because I have no idea what to expect from “middle childhood.”

I haven’t had family members this old since I was a child myself. I don’t have many close friends with kids in this age bracket (and those that are, are mostly boys).

I’m perched on the brink of the unknown and we will either soar, together, or we will fall, flail and stumble. Together. I have no idea or way of knowing what the future will bring.

But here’s what I do know:

  • Honeybun is one of the kindest and most caring people I’ve ever known. Her heart is always open to helping others and she will often put the needs of others ahead of her own.
  • She gets along with pretty much everyone. Ever since she was a tiny toddler, she’s made friends everywhere we go and calls everyone she knows a “friend.”
  • She has wide interests from reading to ballet, golf and dinosaurs. When she loves something, she gives it everything she has.

I think I’ve earned my Dance Mom status this year: Ballet, Jazz and Tap #DanceMom #BabyBallerina #Dance #Showtime

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  • She’s a little awkward, a little shy and a little silly. She’s still very much trying to figure out exactly who she is and find a place where she fits in just right but she also doesn’t really care what other people think of her.
  • She has an incredible ability to learn and interest in trying new things. She struggles sometimes with school (math especially) but she always gets it and she never shies away from trying something new.
  • She loves to help and be useful. She is desperate to help with the cooking and she’s my best cleaner. She is always willing to help others and often has more patience for her brothers’ nonsense than I do.
  • She is beautiful inside and out. She is always polite and friendly but has never understood why strangers are always telling her how well-behaved and pretty she is.
  • She is stuck somewhere between small and big. She wants so much to be bigger and more grown up but hasn’t quite figured the “big kid” thing out yet and still loves to do all the silly “little kid” things (and I hope she always does!)

We don’t always see eye-to-eye. We’re oftentimes working through things as she grows. As we grow. But I know this for sure: I couldn’t have asked for a better daughter or “starter” child!

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