She’s 5 And I’m Not Cool Anymore

Their giggles could be heard from outside, three care free girls behind the closed door of a bedroom, squealing with an unimaginable amount of energy while my daughter scrambled to find her bathing suit.

Her friends had just arrived with their parents and we were getting ready to hop in the pool on what was one of the hottest days we had experienced this summer.

Walking just outside of the bedroom door I paused and listened closely, three small voices, all talking at once, eager to have a turn to talk, filled the space and spilled out under the door.

Knocking once, I turned the knob and slowly opened the door.

“Are you almost ready?” I asked my daughter, assuming, foolishly, that she would have found a bathing suit and started to change.

“MOMMMMM!” She yelled, jumping behind the bed, hiding her naked self.

I stood, shocked, staring at my daughter, who I see in the buff on a daily basis, hiding herself behind the bed and shrugged my shoulders in confusion as she ran over and pushed the door closed and huffed at me in disgust.

I shouted through the door for her to use the washroom, as well as the other girls, and watched the door fly open as all three of them ran into the bathroom, my daughter’s naked butt a flash as she passed me.

And then they shut the door in my face.

“Mom! We need privacy! Give us privacy!”

I stood outside of the door unsure of what to do. Three girls in my bathroom which held countless hair products, nail polish, lip gloss, perfume, and bandaids… oh Lord the bandaids. I pictured them all coming out covered head to toe in Frozen bandages because they had bruises they needed to cover up, or a scrape that suddenly hurt. I wanted to lay on the floor and look under the door and watch what they were doing, make sure they were being safe.

Giggles erupted from behind the door and I froze. What was so funny? Should I knock? Should I peak in?

No, I had to remember that my daughter needed space, she needed time alone with her friends away from me.

So I did what any mother would do.

I went in the kitchen and hid around the corner.

I listened intently for the sounds of crashes, bottles coming out of cupboards, or whispers.

After a few minutes the door flew open and out came three girls, without bandaids all over them, smelling sweet like perfume, and one of them naked.

That one was my daughter.

Back into her bedroom they ran, closing the door again and laughing with abandon. This time I left them, let them be alone to be girls and curled up on the couch to soak in what was happening. I was MOM. The person that she sighs at when her friends are over. The one that she closes OUT of the room when they show up. I was the one that embarrasses her with my laughter and presence. And it was only going to get worse.

I sat and thought it all through, really contemplating what it meant to go from toddler mom to kid mom. The things that were changing, the way my interactions with my daughter were shifting, and my feelings as a mom.

I felt a little sad.

I felt like I was giving up my baby. The girl who depended on me so much for five years.

Until my husband reminded me that being mom doesn’t end just because she grows up. The relationship just changes. It shifts with her growth, and I have to shift with it. I have to acknowledge her need for independence and embrace it. I am here to encourage, support, and teach her on this path to adulthood.

And as her mom I still get to be her comfort at the end of a play date. I am the one she tells her stories to, I am the one she cuddles with at night, I am the one she runs to when she’s hurt, and I’m the one that she cries for when she’s lonely. She and I have a very special bond, and that will never go away, even though I have to let go a little bit in order to give her the independence she needs to grow up, she will always be connected to me.

The doors will be closed in my face, there will be whispers, jokes I’m not apart of, and secrets between friends I don’t know. I will be told I’m embarrassing a thousand times over, asked to go away, and walked away from. I will be yelled at, ignored, and told I’m not cool.

But no matter what the hormones throw at me, no matter how many doors I hear slam, and no matter how many peace signs I throw up in the air that aren’t cool, I will always be mom.

And I will always be here.






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