My seven year old is 55 pounds and a very tall 52 inches for her age. She towers over other first graders at school and she may pass me up one day. This is the sweet thing about my big girl...she still loves to snuggle. I love it too! She curls up on my lap like a tiny baby, but her long legs hang off the chair. My sensitive girl needs this time each day with her mom. And her mom loves it. Well, I love it until I get an elbow in the side or a 55 pound adjustment that literally takes my breath away. I'm always telling her to be gentle.
"You are such a BIG girl, E. Be gentle!"
"E, you are so BIG, when you move your legs like that, it really hurts."
I could go on and on. Recently though, I've been thinking about my choice of words when I'm struggling to stay bruise-free during a snuggle session. This is what I have realized. The word "big" to a girl is a very bad thing. I wouldn't want to be called "big"! Even if E isn't bothered now, as she gets older and more aware of her body, she won't want to be called anything close to big. The phrase "big girl" we use all the time to describe going from toddlerhood to childhood. But at some point, it's going to become an insult. So I'll be changing my tune! As much as it pains me, I'm going to switch from "blaming" E for being so big to changing the focus on myself. I think I'll just tell her, "Mommy is getting old so be gentle." And besides, maybe it isn't that she is getting so big. Maybe it is that I'm getting more fragile....and cranky in my old age.