The door slams with a burst of giggles and a bustle of activity. I can hear the chatter and laughter fill the house. I follow the trail of backpacks and shoes to find my daughter and her friends huddled together in the kitchen, having just arrived home from school. They are ravenous and raiding my pantry for an afternoon snack as they talk a mile a minute about their day. Their enthusiasm and energy is bubbling over.
I smile as I watch them . . . their excitement and joy are contagious and I take a moment to soak in the wonder of these tween girls as they race outside to jump on the trampoline.
This tween age is magical and challenging—full of changes, growth and pushing boundaries. It’s watching your daughter become more independent, yet still needing your guidance more than ever before.
If you have a tween girl in the house, it will always be noisy . . . filled with her laughter, her chatter, her singing, her friends and loud music.
If you have a tween girl in the house, it will be messy. Clothes on the floor, hair in the drain and slime on the counters. Hair ties laying everywhere, homework on the table and shampoo bottles in the bathtub.
If you have a tween girl in the house, you will have a dose of drama with a side of sass served daily. There will sometimes be tears and she might overreact when you tell her to clean her room.
If you have a tween girl in the house, she is probably changing . . . starting to go through puberty. This is a scary and awkward time for both of you and her hormones are out of control, making her a little moody and emotional. You both may cry it out some days as you realize your little girl is slowly disappearing as this new, young woman is emerging.
If you have a tween girl in the house, she will probably talk a lot. Like all the time. Morning, noon, and night. She never stops. You find this overwhelming some days, but also love that she is still at the age where she tells you everything. And I mean everything!
If you have a tween girl in the house, she will probably ask for a phone and social media every day. You firmly tell her no and she gets a little dramatic. But you are not ready for the screen time to take over her life and social media to affect her self-esteem.
If you have a tween girl in the house, she will bounce from Barbies, slime, and cartwheels to make-up, hair styles, and painting fingernails. One minute you still see your little girl and the next minute you see glimpses of a beautiful teenager. It is an emotional roller coaster . . . never sure what is coming up next.
If you have a tween girl, she might ask some deeper questions about life and you will find yourself having difficult conversations about puberty, boys, dating, drugs, bullying, and alcohol. You don’t enjoy these conversations, yet you want her to always be comfortable coming to you and you want her to know the truth.
If you have a tween girl, her personality will shine and be more defined. You will get glimpses of who she is becoming. She may be more vulnerable, compassionate, worried, caring, and conscientious.
If you have a tween girl in the house, you might stand in awe and wonder of her strong character and passion for kindness. And you hope she always stays authentic, shares her talents, and has a heart for others.
If you have a tween girl, you might wish you could protect her forever from the world and all the struggles she will inevitably face and your heart is heavy knowing that you can’t.
If you have a tween girl, she may still curl up in your lap while you watch a movie, her long legs dangling past yours. She will still dance through the hallways and sing her favorite show tunes in the shower. She will still hug you goodnight and let you hold her close.
If you have a tween girl, she may worry a little more and have stronger opinions about everything . . . middle school, what she wears, how she does her hair, friendships, and activities.
If you have a tween girl, she may like to cook, leaving your counters covered in flour and measuring cups and sticky creations.
If you have a tween girl, she might be clingy and hanging on to you one minute and then pushing you away the next, running off to do her own thing. And you find yourself letting her go a little more each day as she finds her independence.
If you have a tween girl, you might look up and realize that she is as tall as you now and she will begin asking to wear your shirts and try on your shoes.
If you have a tween girl, you will pray without ceasing for her every day, asking God to guide her and protect her and draw her closer to Him.
If you have a tween girl, she might be challenging some days, but she will always be worth it.
If you have a tween girl, she will wrap herself around your heart and you will love her deeply. You will miss that little girl that she was with the twirly dresses and big hair bows, yet you will be completely enthralled with the young lady she is becoming. She is fierce and confident and compassionate. She is beautiful and strong and funny. She is brave and sassy and kind. She is everything you ever wanted in a daughter.
This tween girl . . . she will always be connected to your heart. She will always be yours. You adore her completely. You hang on to every minute with her . . . knowing these carefree, innocent years are fleeting. You wish you could keep your daughter like this always. Instead you just do your best to love her boldly through the hard and be her calm in the emotional storm. You hold her close when she lets you and you encourage her to chase her dreams. You remind her every day that God loves her more than she could ever imagine and she is precious to Him.
If you have a tween girl in your house, you cling tightly to these last moments of childhood, embrace the chatter and hug her often. Because these tween years don’t last long and in a blink of an eye she will be driving and dating and heading to high school.
If you have a tween girl, she may drive you crazy some days, but you love her more than words could ever express. And you pray she always knows it.
1 John 3:18
Originally published on the author’s page
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