Elli is making big strides in independence this week. First was her shopping trip to buy new toys at the toy store. Normally I would go with her to both provide buying advice (mostly consisting of saying "you don't have enough money for that") and supervision but this time she piled all of her money into her purse and took herself off to the store to buy something.
She wasn't after any particular thing. She just wanted to buy something all on her own.
While I find the idea of just window shopping to buy stuff without any specific need being addressed quite bizarre, it is clear the rest of the world is mostly filled with people who do exactly that. I don't exactly know yet if Elli is one of those people who like shopping or if she is just really excited at the prospect of doing it on her own.
But she sure is excited about doing it on her own!
Just the ritual of counting up her money, carrying it herself, and being responsible for making sure the things she picked out didn't cost more than she had was clearly a thrill. It makes me smile, because I absolutely love those moments of new independence. The cynical part of me thinks this is because it means I don't have to take her shopping anymore, but clearly that isn't all there is. The best parts of parenting, for me, are her growing up and running off on her own. Away from me, to be sure, but that doesn't bother me. That is what you do! Take flight!
And now she has decided to go see a movie with a friend without any supervision this weekend. I don't have to ever worry about these things with her, as by the time she is ready to ask to do such a thing I am already on board. They have agreed to go to the movie and Elli will pay with her gift certificate and the friend will buy snacks.
(I twitched at the idea of paying a movie theatre the going prices for snacks, but I can't stop them. Seriously kids, we have that same stuff at home for one tenth the price!)
I am so looking forward to her teenage years.
This is where people descend on me to tell me what hell teenagers are and how I will hate it. Sorry, I don't buy it. Some teenagers are great, and most of them are way the heck better than they were as kids.