Roo is 11

11 years ago I woke up knowing I would give birth to a daughter. It was the first time I had given birth to a daughter. I was unsure of everything. I had married Rob, blended our families and moved 2 hours from my home city to start this new life. We bought our house and moved in just a few days before she was born. I was 9 months pregnant and painting walls and themes. Starting a new life for our family. At the time we thought our house was so big. LOL. We out grew it in the first year.

Then she was born. She is the glue for our family. She sealed the deal.

All of us were enchanted by little Roo. They called her Rissy-Roo or Roo. Roo has just stuck. Every time she learned something new it was like the” Trick of the Week!” She had 7 other people trying to get her to perform it all of the time. Bryce was especially proud when he could teach her something. They are really alike in some ways we learned early on…how stubborn she is.

She refused to sit in a high chair. She would throw a fit anytime I put her in one. She wanted to be like her brothers. I didn’t understand at 6-7 months when she was freaking out…I got her in it a few times just to get pictures. LOL Then she refused to eat baby food. she wanted what everyone else had. She has always been like. You can’t make accommodations for her. She will keep up with “The Brudders” as she used to call them.

As much as I know we aren’t supposed to project our own feelings and ego on our children… is finally nice to have a child that I can identify with in more ways than the boys. I raised my oldest daughter but we don’t have much in common. Seeing it from birth and how Roo gravitates towards certain things…even when I haven’t introduced her to it….it just comes naturally. I worry about her sometimes because she is a deep thinker. She doesn’t like to be vulnerable or bossed around…but she is really soft inside and she remembers everything. I have to be careful with her.

She has been going through a stage of rejecting me. She is trying to gain her own self. I am ok with it and just let her do it. I have learned not to be offended by that. Years of teenage boys…that seem to leave mom’s lap a little later. It’s actually more difficult for me to lose them….for some reason. I think because it seems more permanent to lose them. I know she won’t be gone long. Girls want their mom. plain & simple.

I don’t know how to explain how it is having a daughter to raise. How vulnerable girls are in such different ways than boys. It has made me look at myself differently. When people say you are never “ready to have children”……..”You can never prepare” all of this is true. To people who have children already-> we know this. What you learn is that they teach you more about yourself than you can ever teach them. You just don’t realize it until it happens. I feel like a child raising a child. I was thinking about how I started too early and didn’t know enough about life…but the truth is that even if I were to get pregnant now….I would still be learning lessons everyday. About life, myself, and the human condition. She has captured my heart and I feel the bittersweetness of everything. Her being the baby of the family & a girl has made her the princess.

I would say having her has enriched my experience because I have to do things differently with her than any of the other children. I have to be more sensitive and careful. But I also get a faster return with her. I can see that she and I will be close friends. I know it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  But now that she is rejecting me..I am trying to coach Rob on how to spoil her and do things for her so that she can get the love & affection she needs. Rob is a good man and a good dad. But he is not good with emotions and knowing exactly how to handle a girl. So I have to help him along and she thinks her dad is the best. 🙂 I already know she will attract someone who needs a caretaker. She is a caretaker by nature. It all became really clear when I went to Haiti. I told Rob weeks before that if something happened to me..not to let her take care of him and ruin the possibilities of her life. I know her so well..that I knew if that happened she would sacrifice herself and take care of her brothers & her dad.  Then A few days before I left we had the sit down talk with the kids about things….and what not. As we were talking she looked at Rob and said ” Don’t worry Dad if something happens to Mom..I will take care of you”  I looked at Rob…..So he explained to her that he was the dad and he would take care of her. That it wasn’t her job to take care of them. She is supposed to have a life and do what God intended her to do.

Since she was 2 years old if she didn’t like what I told her to do..she would ask “When is my daddy coming home?”

She has always been a quick study as well. She would figure things out & ask questions that were way beyond her age. But since she is the product of Rob & I who have such a mixed family. She was about 3 when she asked Why the boys have 2 dads. I had to explain the situation. She said “Well I want 2 daddies” LOL Rob was standing there and he got so offended. (How does a grown man get offended by a 3 year old trying to sort out her blended family?? IDK?) I explained to her that she was actually more blessed & special because her Mommy & daddy live together. So she gets us all the time.  She wasn’t buying that. She said “Well I still want 2 Daddies.” Rob said “Do you want 2 mommies?” She said “Noooooooo” LOL I was offended. Not really. I know’s because I was the one that was always keeping everything straight and what not …like normal. So in all of Rob’s wisdom he said ” OK well if you want 2 daddies……I am going to wal-mart and I am going to go buy another Clarissa” She started crying. “No daddy…I am the only Clarissa”

I stood there wanting to know how everything went south so was an easy conversation. But they both agreed in that moment that only one of each of them was enough. Thank God. Rob takes his role seriously.

This year has been really good for her in school. She likes to be independent & be her own boss.  She doesn’t want to take orders from anyone…not even a teacher. She’s not disrespectful (completely)….she will just shut down if there is someone trying to oppress her or make her work outside of her own agenda.  Which this can be good or not good depending on the situation. in her early years she had a teacher that understood this and let her work like that….and she succeeded. But last year her teacher wanted order and conformity. Clarissa struggled. I let her. She needs to learn to conform to society and work under authority. This year she gets to travel from teacher to teacher..which makes it WAY better for her. She is not tied to one learning style. She can handle an hour here and there with many styles. Last year I thought we may have to really hold her back because she was fighting all year long. But I wanted her to struggle & learn. It wasn’t easy for any of us.

Some of my favorite parts of Clarissa is that she doesn’t give up easily. She is not real patient either. She TOLD the boys to go fix her bike a few summers ago. They all said “No” because she didn’t ask nicely. She was being stubborn and came to me…to plea for her. I said “no…you need to ask them nicely” well once she decided to put her pride aside & ask nicely they had other things planned. So she grabbed the tools and WD-40 and put her bike up on it’s handle bars. She had watched them enough times…it took her twice as long but she figured it out on her own.  I was proud of her for figuring it out. But also holding her accountable to her pride….because they are not to be at her beck & call. I think being the baby of 6 kids and having a busy mom has tested her patience more than the average bear.

When she was 4-5 I was busy painting the cupboards in the kitchen and she was talking to me-> I was half listening like parents do sometimes. all of a sudden she grabs my face with both hands looks me in the eye and says”Mudder are you listening to me?” LOL I had to chuckle to myself…and I said “Yes, Roo…I am listening” So I can imagine that she will have more patience for future people in her life since she is so tested here.

When she was 4-5 she was sounding out words and learning to read. I remember sitting in the kitchen and Rob came up to get a treat. She said “Dad can I have one?” He said ” Oh you can’t…these are for grown-ups. Kids can’t have says it right on the box”

“She said let me see it….I will Sound it out” She said it with determination and attitude! She just knew he was lying to her. He was.

Right now she says she wants to grow up to be a Veterinarian or a teacher. Whatever she does I know it will be a caretaker position….so those sound about right. Do you know how girls go through that funky stage at this age? Their legs get long & awkward ( well mine never did) …she has lost a tooth on each side which makes her vulnerable to her brothers” teasing that she looks like a redneck. She has not quite embraced changes yet…she is learning to shave …she even got a hold of her eyebrows ( I did the same thing at her age…..but my parents told me I would get big bushy man eyebrows for shaving mine….They lied). These are the awkward years before I see all of the mature changes that are going to happen in her appearance.  I am both happy and sad for her. She doesn’t handle change very well and it’s hurting her. But it’s life. So I am just staying constant.

She left her bike out and it got stolen a few months ago. That broke her heart and she won’t speak of it. Especially since she was told ALL of the TIME by someone in the the house to put it away. So again a lesson she had to learn the hard way.  So she spent her birthday money on a new bike ( We let her get it early). She wasn’t sure if she should do that…..then after she had it she said…”I know I made the right choice. I love having my bike again” She can over think things sometimes…so she was hesitating when we went & got it.

She is going to have a Slumber party that starts with a treasure hunt through the neighborhood. She wants home made cake. She wants home made food ect. That is how she is. She doesn’t want store bought stuff. She appreciates the work. I love that about her.

I can’t imagine my life without her. She holds a special place within me. I can’t believe i get to share life with this beautiful soul. I am blessed.

So here is to Pre-teens.

Happy Birthday to my Princess Roo! You have enchanted us and enriched our lives. You have sealed our family together. We all love you and love to watch you grow and become the beautiful woman that God has intended you to be.

Love always Mom


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