I spent some time with my little sister yesterday and we did our usual thing of looking at all her new books, playing with her myriad stuffed bears, and looking at the pictures she'd drawn in her notepad. We played pictionary while discussing pooh bear and attempted a game of basketball in spite of the rain... all the while with moods fluctuating between childhood and impending adolescence.
"Do you think it's weird that I still read books about Pooh?" she asked.
"No way!" I replied. "Pooh's timeless!"
She smirked at my acceptance. 11 on the cusp of 12, she questions what's appropriate for girls her age almost without even realizing it. Asking for my opinion and respecting my ideas on what's "cool" in spite of our 15 year age difference.
But I always encourage her childish nature wholeheartedly while being in no particular hurry for her to grow up.
I don't look forward to the day that she's no longer my biggest fan... even though I'm sure that day will come sooner rather than later.
But as tween-dom approaches, each clue that she hasn't grown up quite yet warms my heart and gives me hope.
Hope that in spite of all of the challenges little girls her age face... the pregnant teen role models and half-dressed tweens in search of attention... that she isn't too eager to be like them.
After a particularly hormonal reaction to being "bored," she showed me a picture she'd colored with crayons... and when I asked what had inspired her to do it, she said it was an assignment from school.
"Yeah," she said," We still color with crayons in sixth grade!!!"
"Really?" I asked. "Do you think that's weird?"
"Well... not really," she replied. "I'm glad we still do."
"Yeah..." I said. "Me too."