My first reaction is to share in her excitement. I listened to her tell the story of how this boy presented her with the box on the playground at recess. I listened to her tell me that her teachers all said it was pretty. I acknowledged how exciting is must've been to receive a gift like this. And then I ask her if she thinks she should accept it. And that's when I turn from fun mom to rain-on-my-parade mom.
In my mind, I'm thinking, "what if the kid took this from his mother's jewelry box..."
"How could these teachers act like this is amazing? Oh yeah, they aren't here to teach my faith. That was our last school. Bummer..."
"How hard is it going to be on this kid to have his gift returned..."
"How difficult will it be for Big Sister to return it..."
"What kind of parent lets a 9-year-old give real jewelry? They can't know about this..."
"What happened to wanting to Big Sister wanting to watch her friends make dumb decisions about boys..."
And so we talk about how jewelry is a bit too grown up for 4th grade. And how if we're in a hurry to experience the excitement of stuff meant for us when we're older, then when we're older, we might find other things to be excited by that aren't so good. And she tells me that she just wants to go with the flow. And I tell her that we can rarely do that and still follow what God wants us to do. And she seems to get that. But she still doesn't like the thought of giving the jewelry back.
You see, I'm the mom who wouldn't allow my daughter to attend the 4th and 5th grade dance, where the boys were asking the girls to be their dates. Because, seriously, they can't just throw a party- why do they have to make it cool to act old?
Am I being too harsh? Setting myself up for a daughter who doesn't confide in me? Perhaps. But I'm not about to be one of those moms who acts like her daughter can do no wrong. One of those moms who acts like her daughter knows more at ten than herself at 30-something (or 20-something in my case). I'm going to be the kind of mom who is clear about her beliefs and opinions. I'm going to parent so that Big Sister can look back when she's in her teens and 20's and know what her Mamma would say. I'm going to be consistent to my beliefs, because there is, in my opinion, no place more important (and sometimes painful) to stand up for what I believe than in parenting.