They Grow Up So Fast

You blink and they’re in double digits.
Our sassy and beautiful youngest daughter
is turning 10…

It’s hard to believe that Addison is turning 10. It feels like yesterday that she was born, but at the same time it feels like it’s been forever.

Mark and I both share the same opinion that unfortunately when you’re in an unhappy marriage, you’re so focused on trying to survive it that you tend to just coast through life which means a lot of the time you are just going through the motions. The one thing that suffers most is your memory of when your kids are really small. We both remember little tid bits, cute things they’d say or do or the milestone things, but even remembering their individual characteristics and what they looked like unless you look back at photos it’s just so hard to remember.

Then you separate and start to overcompensate for the fact that your kids are now a product of divorce and instead of just really enjoying them and quiet time together you start planning things for every second you have with them, start showering them with gifts, hoping that all this “stuff” will somehow make up for the fact that you have “let them down.”

Looking back there are things I wish could have done differently but at the time I know I was doing the best I could. All 4 of our kids have turned out great, despite us thinking we may have ruined them. That’s the thing with kids they have way more resilience built into them than we realize or give them credit for. It’s time we stop beating ourselves up over doing the best we could. We were going through hard times too, even more so than them in a way because we did everything we could to protect them from the aftermath. So, give yourself credit if you’re going through this now or have just gone through it. You are doing a great job!

Addison grew up the first 7 years as an only child. She was a stubborn and strong-willed kid right from the start. 10 days overdue and 36 hours of labor later and she finally arrived. She was completely bald with huge blue eyes and loved to eat. No matter what, she could not go more than 2-3 hours without some sort of sustenance and not much has changed since. She was never a good sleeper. She didn’t sleep through the night until she was 3 years old. I remember taking her to the doctor and asking him what was wrong with her, this baby won’t sleep, and he said some kids just don’t need as much sleep as others. Lucky me!

Her personality really shone through by about age 3. I loved the toddler age with her. She was never very mischievous or big into climbing or coloring on walls, the typical toddler stuff, but she learned the proper use of sarcasm very early on. Being an only child and going to my Mom’s while I was at work meant she was around adults all the time. One time my best friend came to visit, and we were chatting in the play room while Addison played. Addison looks at her and said “Auntie Lisa, please leave” I said Addison you can’t say that to people, trying to hold back laughter that she even just said that. That was followed up with “are you leaving yet?” So, we had to have a few lessons on what was appropriate to say and what wasn’t before she started school!

Unless she knew you well and felt very comfortable around you, she was always intensely shy. I found that hard when I was going through the thick of things during the separation, because it meant not having many “breaks” when she always needed me to cling to. I would encourage her to spread her wings a little whenever it was safe to do so but she just wouldn’t budge. I started enrolling her in extra curricular activities, hoping it would help her to branch out but it was a struggle.

When she started school, she had a bit of a hard time adjusting and some mornings she would cry but that’s quite normal for any kids just starting out I think. Every birthday party she was invited to up until grade 3 she needed me to go and stay with her. She would miss out on a lot of things I knew she wanted to try, playing at the play places, joining in games etc. but I never forced her, just used gentle encouragement and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.

Once Mark and the kids came into our lives that’s when I really saw a big change in her for the better. She has really branched out and her confidence has really flourished. I think we both have this great sense of belonging and we’re both happy and settled and that makes a huge difference for her.

She’s a very chatty, happy go lucky, funny kid. She’s in dance and loves reading. She loves horse back riding and slime making. She’s been crazy about fashion since her first birthday. Every time she would open clothes she would stop and hug them, huge smile on her face. Never mind the toys she just wanted the clothes! Planning outfits is already something that she spends tons of time doing each day and the one thing I love about this stage is that she’s eager to own and wear clothes that look just like mine. Pat Pat has an amazing collection of Mommy and Me outfits and we have a few matching pieces from there that we wear often.

Her and Alyssa have really come a long way in their relationship with one another too. They have an amazing bond. Watching them share voluntary hugs this past Christmas morning in their matching pajamas was such an amazing sight to see. Matching pajamas is a tradition we started our first year together and one we continue to do each year. We usually buy them from Pat Pat as well. They’re amazing just remember to order them a couple of months in advance because they take a while to come in!

Addison has always been wise beyond her years. She knows what’s up and she can figure things out and understand things with very little explanation. I’ve been trying to find ways to slow down time because like I said it feels like we went from 0-10 in a blink of an eye.

She’s turning into a remarkable young woman and I am so very proud of her in so many ways. I’m so lucky to be her Mom.

xx Jenn

Dear Addison,

Keep on shining your beautiful light Bean. Be brave, be strong, be bold. Know your worth and don’t ever let anyone else define you. Speak your truth, share your magic. Embrace your flaws and celebrate your wins. Never hold back, stand your ground and don’t take any crap from anyone.  Stand proud, laugh loud and love with all your heart.

I love you to the moon and back!

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