Ryleigh has always been the one to hit milestones first. Occasionally it was Brenna but even when it wasn’t, she usually wasn’t far behind. Being the mom of twins has shown me first hand that children develop at different rates, even twins. Mine are fraternal, so basically that just means they are sisters who happened to be born at the same time.
The latest milestone is puberty. Ryleigh has started on her journey within the past year, and it looks like she will be hitting the first big milestone soon, probably within the next 6 months or so, her first period. It’s a good thing this isn’t public, she’d probably kill me for writing this! But as I told her, EVERY girl has gone through it, is going through it, or will. It is special, but more than special, it’s unique to each person. She’s asking questions and I give myself credit, I’m being honest and upfront with her, and not having a mini heart attack inside.
But I look at my sweet baby girl, and I see the pre-teen she is becoming. I can foresee what the next few years will bring and I’m happy for her but sad for me. Somehow I wish I could stretch out my time with her, and her sister for a few more years, as my baby girls, not my big girls. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my girls and they are my world. More than ever, it is becoming increasingly important for me to show them the best person I can be. It’s who THEY will become.
What about Brenna though, you may be asking. She sees what her sister is going through and wonders when it will be her turn. Little signs are there. I tell her, don’t worry, it’s coming! You’ll catch up to her. Ryleigh on the other hand, says “Why me first?” The only answer I can give her is “That’s just your body. Everybody is different.” She doesn’t always like being first, even if she won’t admit it. Don’t get me wrong though, she LOVES being first. Sometimes I think Brenna feels like she’s in her sister’s shadow and so she tries to impress me and show me that she is special too. (Guess what my beautiful girl? You don’t have to impress me! You do it every day!)
We have been dancing around the subject of puberty for awhile now. We talk about it sometimes and I go as far as I can talking about it with them. But I back off and let them lead me in how much they are capable and willing to hear. The most important thing I hope I do for them is lead by example. I try to make sure that there is nothing I do, that I wouldn’t want them to do.
I bought them a book to read a year or so ago. It sat around for a long time, neither of them reading it. But when the school nurse told Ryleigh that she thought it was “that” time, I knew it was time to pull it out and let her read it. Reading about it is easier for her than hearing it from me. It lets her take it in, then she can ask me whatever questions she has. All I can do then is hope that I have the answers for her, or if I don’t, then I find them.
She’s moody and sassy, she talks back to me, gives me her “cool girl” attitude, has her own fashion and hairstyle ideas that don’t always go along with mine, but not inappropriate, just different than me. But she still wants to crawl in bed with me and if I let her, would sleep with me every night. (So would Brenna for that matter!)
I try to take each day, one at a time. I don’t ever wish away today, the days go much too fast and they seem to be speeding up even more as they get older. I walk a fine line with trying to keep them my babies, but I also have to let them grow up and become responsible, strong, smart women.