We knew it was coming. It was only a few months ago, as Fall turned into Winter, that Steve and I discussed it. We could see that our third daughter was on the brink. Though she still played with her younger brother, she was found talking with her older sisters or reading more frequently.
Now it is Spring, and if two children are outside, it is no longer 11 yo C and 10 yo J. It is now 10 yo J and 7 yo M. Somewhere over the winter, they re-aligned themselves. I'm sure the hours J and M have spent playing wii games together while C read books may be part of it. But I also know that it is a sign of C growing up.
She'll be turning 12 in about 6 weeks. She is changing from little tomboy-girl, into a young lady. But I have to wonder what she may be thinking or feeling. Her older sisters don't always welcome her into their world, though they do it much more than they used to. And now she's moving away from her younger brother. Where will that leave her? How soon will her younger brother follow her?
C is still my impulsive one. She has always been the most active daughter, the one most likely to be labeled ADHD. Sometimes her 14 yo sister R complains that C got in trouble in Sunday School again because she was fidgeting or making noise. When I ask her what she was doing, or why, she always has a reason. Not always a good reason. "I needed to tell R something." "I was bored and it made a cool sound." "I was just trying to fix my coat which was caught on the chair funny, and it tipped over." She isn't trying to be disruptive; it just happens. She is our sizzler, thought not the only one in the family. And yet, she is trying to be more self-controlled. She is making progress.
The process of growing up is subtle. One day they're still little girls, and then they are big girls, and then they are young ladies. Someday I'll look at my oldest daughter and be shocked to realize she's no longer a young lady, but an adult. That will be bittersweet.