Well, it was bound to happen. My little girl has realized that she is pretty.
I think she is, anyway. Sometimes, I tell myself to look at her with complete anonymity, to pretend as if she isn't mine, to distance myself and see what I think.
It is always the same. I just can't do it. I think she is stunning. I've asked my sisters for their unbiased opinions and they tell me that Liv is a pretty little girl, not stunning, but very nice looking.
I look at her and see the tallest child in her class. She even towers over the boys. Her hair is dark blonde in the winter and honey blonde in the summer. I have no idea where she gets this as no one in my family is blonde and her father has jet black hair, is an American Indian. But, her eyes are his. Dark brown snapping eyes, bordering on black. Her skin is his, too. Olive. She tans like a dream. She is thin and wiry with long colt legs and large skinny feet. She has a tall father, and I suspect that she will be a nice tall Nicole Kidman sized woman. Crooked teeth (my side of the family's lovely contribution) which are currently being reined in with dark green braces.
She has a gorgeous singing voice, another gift from her father. She whistles while she does anything, reading, walking the dog, drying the pans, cleaning her room. She is smart, school is easy for her. In first and second grade, she liked math and science but I have noticed that now, in third grade, she has become more like me, likes reading and literature, writing. She likes to draw, but is not gifted. She is musical, takes piano and violin lessons, but Bing has taught her some basics on the flute, trumpet, recorder, and drums and her father taught her to play the harmonica over their summer vacation together.
She is athletic, again like her father. I can't hit a ball to save my life or make a basket either. She can do both with ease. She runs fast.
I find her almost heartbreakingly beautiful. But, of course, I WOULD.
She has never shown much interest in her looks, though. She has always chosen clothes that are comfortable. Dislikes anything with too many ruffles or flounces, is picky about clothes tags that make the back of her neck itch or pants that are too snug. She has always been about comfort.
Today, she was getting ready to go to birthday party for a boy in her class. A pizza party at his home. I asked her what she planned on wearing, because I long ago gave up dressing her. I make sure that she matches and if she does and is warm enough, I let it go. She was pondering two outfits. One was a pair of khaki pedal pushers and a blue sweater. The other was a pair of pink leggings with a multi colored top. She opted for the khakis, because she said, they made her look less babyish.
She sat in front of our hall mirror checking out her hair. She tried various head bands and ended up asking me to put her hair in a braid down her back. I did this and she looked so critically in the mirror that I was surprised.
She...she...she looked like ME getting ready to go out for dinner. She turned her head this way and that, checking herself out carefully. She smiled at herself in the mirror.
I stood watching her a few feet away with my heart in my mouth.
She is growing up.
She is only eight, but it is starting, that impulse to look nice. I half expect that when I turn around next, she will be getting ready to go to prom.
How did my baby girl turn into a discerning girl with likes and dislikes about clothes and hair styles?
She is still a little child, I know this. She isn't trying on my lipstick yet. She still plays with her stuffed animals. She isn't asking me for Britney Spears clothes yet. (And she better not EVER try that.)
But, she is growing up. Her look in the mirror was not a quick little do-I-look-clean look. She was checking herself out.
And then it got worse. We drove to pick up her friend, Cynthia. They both sat in the back seat talking about who would be at the party. Cynthia is a fourth grader to Liv's third grade status, but they both attend a Montessori school where their whole 1st to 6th grades consist of 20 kids, so they all work and learn together.
Cynthia was saying that she thought everyone, including Jarod, the new kid, would be there.
I commented that I couldn't think who he was.
"He has spiky red hair," she told me. "He will probably be at the party, mostly because he wants to be anywhere that Liv is..."
Liv looked out the window, bored.
I felt like pulling over and crying.
Some BOY is already interested in my baby?
I looked at Liv in the rearview mirrow. She looked up at me surprised. And then....she figured it out.
"Mama, I'm EIGHT," she said. "Like I care if a boy wants to sit by me...."
Whew. That's better.
But, god....it won't be long, will it?
Ai yi yi.