Parenting tweens often leaves moms and dads feeling like they've had more than their fair share of tricks, but on occasion, it also means some sweet treats. By that, I mean more than just a few pieces of their kids' Halloween candy, although that's always tasty.
One such treat for me is seeing my tween take joy in something that she enjoyed when she was little, something that I thought she might now deem "too babyish." When she does so, it is like a window to the past, to simpler parenting times. (Not easier times, just different times when a parent could more readily rectify most wrongs.) Knowing that my daughter is maturing is great, but it also leads me to especially cherish the moments when she displays an innocent delight like she did as a little girl.
I surprised her earlier this week by including clementines in her lunch that I had drawn on so that they looked like jack-o-lanterns. I thought it seemed fun, but I wasn't sure what her reaction would be. I hoped that it didn't cause embarrassment at the lunch table that her mom, clearly not an artist, draws on her food. (And if it did, I figured that would ensure that she'd happily take over lunch making responsibilities.)
My tween said she loved the clementine jack-o-lanterns. And so did her friends. I know she wasn't just humoring me because she asked to have them in her lunch again and inquired as to what face options were available. I know that in the tween world, things are fickle. An item or activity that used to be fun might be horribly uncool tomorrow, but they made us both smile today. That smile will get me through a few eye rolls and dramatic sighs that I know lurk around the corner.