A Street Car Named Stella

What a glorious feeling to wake up freezing this morning! It so hasn't happened since, probably... the winter.

I'm just not that generous with my AC bill.

Even the children. Scarlett grabbed some knee high socks that are so adorbs and Stella walked out of her room, changed from a Tinkerbell Nightgown into flannel pants, a Nebraska sweatshirt and slippers.

They could not have been cuter.

Whilst Stryker still romped around the house in the onesie I had him in last night.

He was definitely cold.

But he's a man. So he can take it.

They are all dressed now, in complete fall attire. Which I am dying because I love it so much! Except that they look like ten years older! How does that happen??? It seems they've aged over night.

It must be the long pants or something.

It's weirding me out. I don't want to think about my kidlets getting older. As difficult as these years are, they are flying by WAY too fast!!

And we hate it.

And by "we" I mean me and Stella.

It's no secret I have some what of a severe Peter Pan Complex. "Afraid to grow up" does not even begin to cover the introduction to the book I could write on my every day psychosomatic problems.

But I'm afraid some of those fears may have rubbed off on Stella who all last week would say to me, over and over again, "Mommy, I don't want to be Four, I want to be Two again. Can I be Two again?"

And I'm like, "Oh no. Oh my dear... Don't listen to mommy panic about aging or about her grey hairs, or about her crows feet or about how she so doesn't fit in with other grownups... real grownups...."

And Stella's like, "Um, what? I just don't want to go to school. Or dance. Or church. Or leave our island."

Oh, whew....



Ugh. We've been having a time with her. Such a time. I don't know what happened, if it was the change in our routine with the start of school, or if one day she just woke up afraid of every single thing, but trying to get her out of the house is a nightmare.

Unless we're going to meet some of her friends.

Then it's like, "MOOOOOOM What is taking so loooooooong."

But that's a different complaint. And a different blog.

It started with dance. Oh. Dance. It might have started with how I feel about dance right now.... But I don't think so. And it's not dance in itself, because I love it. And I love the little girls Stella dances with. And I love their mommys. Which is very, very fortunate because not every class has it as nicely as I do. And I love the studio and the teachers.

But I got burnt out this summer, still going twice a week. Every week. And now I'm looking at Fall, going, what? I have to go three days a week now? And no, nobody is holding a gun to my head, but that is our schedule. And it kind of makes me hang my head, slump my shoulders and drag my feet, while mumbling underneath my breath.

I just need to get over it.

This is life.

But next summer I might just schedule out a like month and a half long break for myself. And call it good. You know, give myself a chance to miss it.

Which might be what Stella needs, because sister has been not for it at all. She would cry on the way there, she would not want to go in the studio, we would get home at night and she would say she wants to quit, and not want to watch her dance video or play dress up or anything.

And I'm sitting there, as a parent, worried that I am just awful for pushing her so hard in the first place thinking to myself, ok, Rachel, moment of truth, you have always said that you would quit dance the minute she didn't want to do it anymore, the minute it wasn't fun.

And we've reached that minute.

But when it hit me, I felt completely unprepared! Like, first of all, I actually NEVER expected it to get here. That's the truth. SHE LOVED DANCE.

And secondly, she's so young that how can I even take her seriously, in a month, or two months, or six months or whatever, after she got her break, she would be begging to go back and it would be to late.

She doesn't know what she wants at this age.

But what if she does.

What if this is real?

Plus, every class, every single class, I expected her to drop the "quitting business...."

So finally, she gave up on me and went to her dad and asked him if she could quit. Like things were getting serious.

But thankfully, I married the wisest man alive and a husband that supports dance, which is hard to believe in itself if you know him at all.... But he said to her, "You don't know what you want and you won't know what you want for a long time, you love dance, you're going to get over this and and if not we will revisit this conversation later."

And she said, "ok."

Like, literally, "ok." And the next day we were sitting at the table and she started talking about dance all on her own and was like, "Mommy, do you remember Joey's birthday and we pinned the tail on the donkey?" And I'm all like, "Yea....." And she goes on, "I just love dance, Mommy. I like it again. I like it now."

Oh, Stella, thanks for weeks of worrying FOR NOTHING.

I felt a little bit better when the next day at school she started the same thing with school. I felt better because obviously it wasn't just Dance, she was going through a phase. I felt worse because she is the most impossible child. When she gets something into her head, I don't know how to talk her out of it. Like, I really feel that convincing Stella to do something she doesn't want to do is the hardest challenge as a parent I have had yet. And she's my oldest child, I've had her the longest, so I really feel like I should have figured it out by now and I've tried every stinking tactic out there, but I can't figure it out.

But school was awful. Her teacher would actually have to pull her out of my arms and drag her into class.

Thank God for her teacher, she is simply the best and didn't judge me at all!!! :)

But then on Friday, she finally figured it out and walked into class without being "helped" and came out smiling. They even took pictures of her having fun and sent them to my mom's phone just so they could show me that she was in fact enjoying herself.

Oh, but her emotional roller-coaster is not over yet.

Last week, she drops the bomb that she wants to cut her hair.


Um, excuse me? Oh. No. You didn't.

And I am so one of those moms that ok, if dance really would have just been the bane of her existence, we would have walked away. It's expensive. It's only going to get worse. And it's a serious time commitment, so if you don't love it, I'm not going to deal with dragging you to class three times a week.

No. I will not.

I will just start over with your sister, because she will do it and love it. End of story.

I knew she would get over school because that child was BORN for school. She's brilliant first of all, and that's totally from a non-parental-completely-unbiased-100%-objective-point-of-view. So don't worry about that.

But I'm sorry, cutting your hair is not an option.

When you're 18 and move out of my house you can decide what you want to do with your hair. Also, on that day you can stop matching with your sister too....

But so far she hasn't once complained about matching. She complains when they don't match, but junior high might change her mind....

But her hair. Nope. Non-negotiable.

And I'm not completely unreasonable. When she's older and wants something trendy, fine. Maybe... Or if she ends up with awful, horrible, terrible pubescent and post pubescent hair, we can talk.

But not right now.

Oh. No.

Not when her hair makes that whole Bible verse make sense and come to life. You know the one where it's like, "A woman's long hair is her crowning glory."

Or something like that.

I'm paraphrasing. I think.... But it was close.

So anyways, she is telling me she wants to cut her hair short like the Play Bella. Which is a Bella from her school that has the shortest hair. Like, literally, it's shorter than Strykers.

Ok, maybe not, but close.

And I am trying not to cry, and I say, but I thought you wanted to be like Repunzel.

And she says, "I do! You know what mom? Repunzels hair is short at the end of the movie, she cuts all her hair off."

That she does. As I swallow the lump in my throat, stand up straight, raise a fist to the heavens while a storm cloud develops suddenly in the middle of the girl's bedroom, lightning flashing and thunder rolling, I yell, "Curse you Disney!!!!!!!!"

Or something like that.

What I'm getting at, what my point is here is that Stella is taking me on an Emotional Roller-coaster that has me weeping for her hormonal days to come and on my knees every night praying for her future boyfriends.

Or just for Braden. Because we all know, there is only one man in her life.

It's like, I get that one day you will be a woman, but you don't have to define the entire sex as Fickle and Overly-Emotional single-handedly.

Aren't you concerned for your mother's sanity?????

Because I am.

Oh thank God for Stryker. I need more little boys in my life.

I better go talk to Zach about that.


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