My daughter has been diagnosed with premature thelarche. Which, if you’re not up on your medical terminology (this was a new one on me), means she’s developing breast buds a little ahead of schedule.
She is 7. Nearly 8, but still…7. With the beginnings of breasts.
That’s not the most upsetting portion of the situation to me. Because we went to see the doctor, and she ordered a hand x-ray to establish whether Anya’s skeleton was developed beyond her years, and it’s not. So we have avoided the hormone therapy we might have endured. No, what makes me sad/happy is this:
Mom and I took Anya for a girls’ shopping trip. We used to shop all the time before Kai was born, and after he was born until he began boycotting clothes shopping. It’s been harder since Mom’s been on oxygen, but she’s doing much better these days. So we went out.
But just look at my girl.
In my mind, she looks like this.
But she’s also helping me create weekly menus and insisting I let her clean the bathrooms and having discussions about pop music with my mother.
Yesterday we had to buy her new clothes (because she’s up a dress size) and shoes (because she’s up TWO sizes — putting her feet a mere three sizes smaller than mine). She’s eating roughly 4 meals a day these days. The girl who, not so long ago, told me “I don’t really like food” ate two dinners last night and wanted a snack when we got home. At 9 p.m.
Anya says she’s nearly a teenager. I tell her that, no matter what her body is doing, she won’t be a teenager for 5 years. There is no denying, however, that she’s more mature mentally than I was at her age. I remember lamenting the loss of the playground when I entered 6th grade and we moved to the other side of the school. My classmates were losing interest in playing; they wanted to talk about hair and makeup and clothes and boys. I still wanted to swing. While she loves to play, don’t get me wrong — Anya is swiftly growing more sophisticated in her interests. I don’t see her as regretting the passing of childhood like I did. She’s more forward-looking than I ever was.
It’s a lot of fun, having a big girl. I have someone to talk to, someone to shop with, someone to bake and walk and watch movies with. But it also makes me ache.