The night before Ella's birthday, Jake and I put together a Barbie house for our soon-to-be eight year old. 90 minutes and just as many four-letter-words later, we finished it. And while there were moments I cursed having yet another large piece of plastic taking up residence in our house, an even bigger part of my heart felt grateful to have another year of pretend play and dolls, and yes- even brightly colored cheap plastic "crap." I've felt for some time now that she is literally teetering on the brink of little girl and young lady. And while eight still sounds young, while it's still a single digit, when I say it out loud, I'm acutely aware that- as Jake said this morning- we have five more years until we have a teenager. . . and then five more years until she's an adult.
Yes. I'll get you Barbies and My Little Ponies for your birthday.
Yes. Wear your favorite skirt that twirls and spin around as much as your heart desires.
Yes. You can take your toys into the bath tonight instead of taking a shower.
Yes. I can carry you upstairs to bed for as long as you ask me to (no matter how awkwardly).
Yes. You can always come and get in bed with me in the middle of the night if you're scared. Or, just because. (Pay no attention to what "middle of the night" me says in my sleep).
Yes. We can have a tickle fight on the couch.
Because I know this window is getting smaller.
But also, sweeter.
Because, ultimately, I love getting to have a front-row seat to watch you become a more grown-up version of the little girl I still remember.