She is my dreamer, with an overactive imagination. She is the epitome of femininity and everything frilly. She loves animals, chocolate and rock and roll. She is (almost) always willing to share and is quite skilled at using charm to get what she wants.
She is the middle child. And the one most often looked over.
Before Baby came, I spent a few minutes every night in Sister's bed snuggling, singing and talking with her. Then along came this colicky newborn who demanded all my attention and those precious bedtime moments got lost in the shuffle.
I wonder sometimes if she remembers that.
Needless to say, I feel guilty. Brother gets a lot of one-on-one time because of school. Baby gets a lot because...well, because she's the baby. I never get it with Sister. And I miss it.
This morning Hubby took Baby and Brother with him to run some errands so Sister and I could have some time together. Just us. She wanted to go the candy store at the mall. So that's what we did. I bought her M&M Minis at 10 a.m. and let her eat every last one. We looked at books in the book store, candles and picture frames in the gift shop, toys in the toy store. Whatever her little heart desired.
Toward the end of our outing I noticed the 70% off sign at JC Penney's. And though she was very adament about not wanting to look at clothes (wonder how long that will last?), she was very sweet about letting me.
Ladies, I don't know about you. But for me, Happiness is the clearance rack at Penney's. I do my best to buy clothes out of season for the next year. Clearance? I'm there!!
I went directly to the toddler department, because that's what Sister is...a 4T.
But next year, she will wear a 5.
And this, my friends, is when the realization hit me like a ton of bricks. Size 5 is in the Girls Department. I won't be shopping for her in the Toddler Department anymore. She's moving up.
So, with much sadness and a bit of shock, I found myself browsing in the Girls Department. But where are the poofy dresses? Where are the frills and bows? These were all mini-women clothes. This cannot be. Why, oh why can't we keep our little girls little longer? I don't want her wearing a T-shirt that says, "I'm perfect, so stop staring." I don't want her wearing camisole tops and hip hugger jeans. I don't want her wearing running pants with words like "Cute" and "Angel" on the butt. I don't want her to look like a miniature version of the next big Teen Pop Princess.
I want her to look like a little girl. But more importantly, that is what she wants, too. She loves swirly, twirly dresses. And I will break out the sewing machine (as scary as that sounds) and sew her a wardrobe before I give in to Penney's and all the rest who say my girl needs to grow up.
I bought nothing. Instead we rode the glass elevator and I reveled in the magic of my beautiful baby girl and all that is pure and sacred about childhood. I cherish these days. I'll not waste a moment wishing them away.