Right now, Sophie is having a sleepover with three girlfriends. They are giddy with girly silliness. Loud as bullhorns, these girls have scarfed down pizza, created candy-filled sundaes and washed it all down with cokes (gasp!). We all curled up and watched the movie, Big Miracle, about the whales stuck in the ocean in Alaska. I have come to realize that nine year old girls love animals, pop music, nail polish and food. We have all of these on hand.
I woke up to the sounds of giggling girls playing Mad Libs – it amazes me that they are really doing exactly what I did as a kid on sleepovers – calling out to each other, “OK, I need and verb.” “Pooping!” “Now, a noun.” “Boobies!” It never gets old. It never changes.
I want to freeze this moment in time. As much as I am starting to realize that nine is a transitory year – she’s growing out of being a little girl and I have already experienced the crazy brain of hormones starting to wreak havoc on her moods-I don’t want her to forget this feeling of freedom.
Sophie and her friends can fart and laugh and cuddle with each other. They may have grown out of dolls, but stuffed animals are still necessary for sleep. And even though boys have just begun to catch their interest, in a new “Oh my gosh I think he’s cute!” squealing kinda way – they are still friends. And these girls believe that they are smarter than boys and their equal in sports. Sophie is free to eat anything and not criticize herself for being “fat”. “We are going swimming later, so I need more whipped cream on my pancakes!” She regards her body as strong and gorgeous - and she has her own style – as all her friends do. I love their confident outfits of plaids and leopard prints and feathers in their hair.
I know being a girl isn’t always free – I respect that they have their own real worries and fears. The world is opening up, and not all of it is nice and filled with My Pretty Pony. I am not kidding myself; I know that other girls are sometimes their own worst enemies. But I say a little mommy prayer that Sophie and her friends can keep this camaraderie and individuality going through middle school. Because being a girl and having girlfriends is one of the most amazing things in this crazy world.