posted May 18, 2009 at 1:25pm
“Is this a book for kids?” Sophie asked, shoving something in my face.
Considering she’d already asked this morning if she could watch an episode of “Girls” on the DVR (i didn’t realize I could move that quickly before 7 a.m.) I was ready to say no. Then I looked.
“Yes,” I said carefully, looking at the book in her hand, Judy Blume’s Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. “That’s a book for kids.”
I read that book when I was in the fourth grade. Annabelle read it one summer — I don’t recall if it was the summer before or after fourth grade, or which epic camping trip we were on (Yellowstone, maybe?) but I will never forget the sound of the tent unzipping and the image of my daughter emerging, finished book in hand, eyes shining.
There’s something about Margaret that changes you forever. It’s not like you emerge fully prepared for adulthood, but it’s definitely a start.
“What’s it about?” Sophie asked.
Well, I told her, it’s about a girl who is going through changes — she moves to a new town, makes friends. My mind raced. What else do I say? To be honest, Sophie’s way more interested in puberty than Annabelle was at her age. A couple times a week she’ll take off her shirt and push her chest out to show me “they’re growing.”
They’re not, thank goodness, though she’d like them to be. She has several bras — but no real understanding of what it means to get breasts, or any of the rest of it. (Like any of us did, but you get my point here.)
As I write this, the book is forgotten; Sophie’s hiding somewhere with my iPhone, so I apologize if you get an early morning text from her. Funny, she can show me how to do things on my phone I could never figure out on my own. I guess it will be the same in reverse with puberty. I just didn’t think it would happen quite yet.
And to be honest, it will likely still be a while. Sophie’s really into chapter books, but best I can tell, when she’s on her own with one she never gets past Chapter One. When it’s time, maybe we’ll read Are You There, God? together.