Happy Monday! Despite all of us having the flu shot and COVID booster, Momo got taken out by a pretty tenacious cold last week. She missed a week of school (not a hardship) and is now in the interminable coughing phase of getting better. It’s definitely shades of when she was little, and she’d cough so hard and for so long with her little body that she’d just throw up every night for three weeks. Those were dark times, but she eventually grew out of those (just in time for two years of quarantining!), and somehow she’s managed to keep her indomitable cheerfulness throughout every illness since.

Seeing her grow up from that frail little preschooler is humbling. I always kind of wondered what life would be like, in that faraway land where she is a teenager and, eventually, a young adult. It was so hard to imagine – and it was scary to think about it, because she needed me for everything. How could I possibly get her to the point where she didn’t?

But it’s happening gradually now, and it all feels so… natural. Right. Being able to spend time with her and know that she is monitoring her own vitals has reopened a lot of brain space for me and let me enjoy her as a person instead of a responsibility. It’s a really incredible change in our relationship.

But, this is a true story, and it’s remarkable not because she knew how to boil water or wash rice – though those things are pretty cool – it’s because she did everything herself. She realized she was hungry. She remembered that tea makes her feel better. She thought of the idea to make rice. She operated the kettle and the rice cooker alone. She identified the one thing she needed help with and asked for ONLY that help. Every SINGLE one of those steps speaks to her becoming herself, by taking care of herself.

It’s just… really good. Having a tween is amazing.