Oh, tonight was one of the cutest nights ever. I totally remember the day I thought the things that were going through Kate’s head today. Now granted, I do think when I was younger it was something that happened at like 8 or 10, not 6, but nonetheless, still the cutest thing.
Kate was in her room “cleaning it”. I was in the other room working. Kate’s job was to hang up all of her princess dresses on hangers and then Reilly or I would hang them in her closet. I told her what needed to be done and left the room to Kate.
About 10 minutes later I quietly walked over to check on her. She had pulled more stuff out and was making significant progress on making a bigger mess.
“KATE” I snapped, she startled and started to cry. I said “WHAT are you doing?”
“I don’t know”, she sobbed, “cleaning??”
“It doesn’t look like it. All the dresses are still in a pile. PICK them up!”
I went back to my desk. About 10 minutes go by and I quietly walk to her room. I find her standing in front of the full-length mirror (see post about the mirror) with different pants on and no top. She has a sundress in her hand that fit about two years ago.
“KATE… WHAT are you doing?”
Startled she begins to sob… “Cleaning…”
“HANG UP the dresses… that’s all you need to do, okay”
“Okay, she sobs.” and I walk back to my desk.
Ten minutes later I head her way again. She is in a completely different outfit and she’s looking out the window. I can’t really see her because the bunks are obstructing my view.
“KATE… what ARE you doing?
“nothing…” she says softly.
I see a side ponytail (she loves doing her hair) and she backs away from the window and walks toward the dormer. I can not see her front.
“What are you doing?”
“Nothing…. cleaning.” (sheepishly and trying to hide something from me.)
“Turn around, what are you hiding.”
She turns and I see a pair of socks fall out of her shirt to the floor. She then reaches inside her shirt and pulls another pair of socks out of the other side of her shirt.
I didn’t want to embarrass her, because as a young girl, I think we all dream about what it will be like the day we wear a bra and better yet the day we have something to stuff in a bra. BUT, I still think I was a few years older – was NOT on my mind in first grade – but anyway…
I decided to not really acknowledge it because she was clearly trying to be private. So, I decided to stay “on tone.” I said:
“CLEAN your room Kate… hang up the dresses and put all those socks on the floor away.”
“okay, I will….” and she did. Hours later, but she did.
It was the cutest thing. Tonight when I kissed her goodnight in her top bunk where she had a tank, fleece pants and a ski hat on, I said “Good night Kate, I think you are beautiful. I like everything about you…. don’t change. Continue to be nice, because it’s “nice to be nice” to quote my friend Megan’s grandmother and keep smiling. She smiled back, turned red, and said I love you Mom. I want to snuggle with you tomorrow.
NOTE: It’s probably not great of me to blog this because one day Kate my find it or her friends and she may be embarrassed. BUT I thought it’s better to know that this is all normal and everyone goes through times where they want to see themselves differently. And, if someone chooses to tease her about this blog entry one day, well, they are just being dishonest to themselves. And, that’s just too bad, better to be truthful – you appreciate so much more that way. I loved that I got to share in this moment with her even though I didn’t confront it. I did not want her to feel funny about exploring and thinking and dreaming about what the future will be like for her nor did it feel like it was the right time to “talk about it.” I know that day is coming and I’ll open the door when it’s not in the middle of something like tonight.