Why Didn’t Y’all Tell Me About Nine-Year-Olds?

Why Didn't Ya'll Tell Me About Nine-Year-Olds?

“Just wait until she’s a teenager!”

Let me let you in on a little something I just learned: the teenage years do not magically start with the age of 13.  Sure, sure, I know all about the tweens as this magical starting point where a child turns the corner from childhood to adolescence.

But I was not prepared for the emotional crap show that is nine years old.

The emotional highs and lows and the lightning speed at which they come are making me long for the days when she would all-out tantrum and I could put her down for a nap to fix it.

Lord, now I need a nap.

Puberty doesn’t start with acne and realizing that maybe boys/girls do not have cooties.  It begins with gradual hormonal change triggered by increase and fluctuations of estrogen, testosterone and progesterone.  It sneaks up on your child like a quiet fart from their sibling and sends them into such emotional lability that neither of you can see straight.

This morning we had a situation that removed any lingering doubt that my sweet, precious nine-year-old child is turning into a pubescent monster.

Sure, there were hints: a little funk here, the first pimple there.  But at the end of the day, she’d snuggle with me before bed and we’d talk, watch craft videos, and read.  At the end of the day, she returned to the kiddo I knew.

Today, she wouldn’t speak to me after she got in trouble.  The sass resulted in mom taking her beloved phone (no, not a real phone. An old phone where she plays games and watches other kids make slime.  Calm down) and all holy hell broke loose in my living room.  I yelled, she yelled, and I realized why some animals eat their young.

So, I write this not as some great source of advice for parents, but rather in hope for some camaraderie between parents.  I’ve worked incredibly hard to give my children a different childhood than I had, and it feels like I’m failing because I’m losing my daughter to the puberty monster.

My head is spinning with all the “what ifs” that are coming in her teen years.  I did not feel like I could talk to my parents about what was going on inside of me and around me in my teen years, so I did some really dumb things.  I don’t want that for her.

At the end of the day, what do I want for my relationship with my kids?

I want them to know that their ol’ mama will always be in their corner.  I will always fight for them, even if I fight with them.  I want them to know that, no matter what choices they make or dumb things they do, they can always come to me and I will never judge them.  I want for them the relationship that I could never manage to have with my own mom.  I suppose I’ll just keep holding onto her and holding on for the ride for the next 9 years.

And probably take a nap.

Press on, friends 😉

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Missy is an Arizona native who migrated to Iowa on a whim and fell in love. She is a social worker by profession but stepped away from her career to be a pseudo-SAHM to her two girls: 8 year-old Selah and 2 year-old Mercy. She has been married for 10 wonderful years to her TV man husband, Andy, and Bo, the black lab pound puppy completes their family. Most days you’ll find Missy working part-time at a local non-profit, leading worship, and chasing after her children. In her spare time, she enjoys writing/composing music, connecting with other women who are also in the trenches of life, and finding time to get to the giant pile of laundry in the basement. Missy loves a good laugh, crime documentaries, coffee, and naps. She also writes about overcoming strongholds on her blog: Inching Toward Freedom