She’ll be eleven in two months. She doesn’t even weigh sixty pounds. She got an American Girl Doll for Christmas from Santa…yes, she still believes. And she’s about to go to middle school. The calendar tells me she’s growing up and the look in her eyes and her sometimes sassy little responses prove to me the teenage years are approaching.

But I have all these questions in my head about parenting this little girl as she grows. It’s different than my first go around with Alex…maybe it’s because I’m a girl but it seems as if there are more things to consider with daughters. Right now I’m stuck on the small things. The minute details that will make up our relationship and her development.

She wants to read “The Fault In Our Stars.” She’s promised if I let her, she will finish her homework in fifteen minutes every night which is a tempting deal in light of the struggle we have each and every day over homework to begin with. Apparently, the majority of her friends have read it or seen the movie. But I don’t make my decisions based on what her friends do and have…if I did she would be sporting a pair of Uggs. I am confused about what to do though. At her age, I read “Forever” by Judy Blume which was way more explicit than TFIOS. The topic matter wasn’t quite as heavy but Eva can deal with heavy…that’s not what concerns me. I used to borrow my mom’s Danielle Steele books and read them while I was supposed to be sleeping. I never had any reading restrictions but I suppose I may not have had access to the wide variety that’s available now.

And then I know the question of makeup is looming in our near future. I had a steadfast rule that I couldn’t touch makeup until I was thirteen. No lip gloss, mascara or even a touch of blush. It felt wildly unfair but somehow I survived. I’ve learned though I’m not a fan of blanket statements when it comes to my kids. Makeup may be allowed for cotillion and not for everyday. One young adult book may be a yes and another may be a no. I think the only way I can proceed is by living in the moment and making thoughtful decisions within each and every one.

But I still feel like I’m walking on a balance beam trying to preserve her innocence and simultaneously allow her to grow up. Part of me wants her to believe in Santa and have an unquestioning faith in the Tooth Fairy and that crazy Elf on the Shelf(not the Easter Bunny…he’s freaky.). But I know it might not be fair to let her go to middle school believing in so many things. Most of me wants to keep her in our little bubble with the dolls and the stuffed animals and keep her from the world of boys and peer pressures. Try as I might, I know that’s not an option. So I’ll move through each day picking my battles and being sure to be present and holding her to only one rule that will never change…Farleys don’t do duck lips.

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