The Push and Pull of Almost-'Tweens

alienI thought it would be a hoot--picking up my 8 and 9 year old at the bus stop in our big alien cape and mask. I even thought that maybe each day until Halloween I would come up with wearing a mask or funny outfit when I got them after school.

The neighbors glanced at me sideways as I walked down the street...should they be concerned? Who WAS THAT? I realized that I'd better lift up my mask so there would be no threat of a clown-turned-alien felon. Nope, just me, picking my kids up in a Halloween costume.

I waited at the bus stop...and waited. Finally, it approached. I waved my arms and was ready to scare them with a spooky welcome!

"Hey, Mom," Sophia says, nonchalantly.

"Hi, Mom," Gabriella says with no smile.

Hmm...that's weird.

We continued to chat with our neighbors for a bit and finally the girls pulled on my arm asking to go home. Once out of earshot of our friends, Gabriella looked at me with tears in her eyes and whispered, "MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How could you do that?!?!?!?!??! I was soooooooooooooooooo embarrassed!"

"Yeah, mom, that was nuts," the older, wiser sister says.

I was shocked. Dismayed. Disappointed that my idea of every-day-a-Halloween-surprise-at-the-bus-stop plan was instantly truncated. I guess I thought it was like the good old times when they would have laughed at that and maybe even been scared. I thought the "Embarrassing Parent Stuff" came at a later date, like 13 or 14 years old?

Ah well. I told Tom about it that night and he laughed and thought it was hilarious. Then we both concurred that it was the end of an era with our girls. Moving into the 'tween phase is upon us and we already see hormone changes, mood shifts and an increased need to shower daily. It's time for them to touch their toe in the water of individuation; pushing forward and pulling away at the same time...

Funny enough, today, when I dropped the girls off to the bus stop, I kissed them both goodbye and Sophia whispered in my ear, "Mom, wear the costume!"

Yep, push and pull; back and forth. Some days yes, some days no. Maybe today I try just a mask and not the whole ensemble. She gave me the green light, right? Hmmm...stay tuned.

Happy Halloween!

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