I realized this morning that I've reached one of those shifting points with Em...one of those changes in your relationship you don't even think about until after the shift has happened.
We went to Michael's yesterday to pick up a bunch of different needed craft supplies: some clay for a model she has to make for her state report, some colonial figurines for a model she has to make for her group colonial report, and some hot-glue sticks to replace the ones she and her friends used up when I loaned them my glue gun to put together said model.
We grabbed the clay, we grabbed the figurines, and then I picked up a bag of glue sticks. Talking to myself, I said, "I'm pretty sure these are the ones. I think our glue gun takes the larger ones. Mumblemumblemumble."
"Mom?" Em interrupted my mumbling. "Actually, I think it takes these smaller ones." And she picked up another bag of sticks.
"Really?" I was about to dismiss her out of hand--it's my glue gun after all--but then something stopped me. "Are you sure?"
"Well, worst that can happen is I'll have to return them," I said. And bought the smaller glue sticks. Which totally fit the glue gun.
Could there be anything duller than that exchange? I wouldn't have thought so, until I put the glue sticks away this morning, and heard it in my mind again, and suddenly realized that even six months earlier, I would have simply assumed I was right and she was wrong, and gone with my own instincts. And had to return to the store today to exchange the sticks for the right ones.
I am absolutely not saying that, at the age of 10, she's smarter than me. That's not the shift; not yet, at least. But she is definitely at a point now where, when she tells me something or gives her opinion, I take it seriously. Because it's no longer a given that I know better simply by virtue of being The Mom or The Adult. She's smart, and she's perceptive, and she hasn't had two children suck the very marrow out of her brain. (Yes, I know brains don't have marrow. Haven't you people ever heard of a metaphor before? Sheesh.)
They're just glue sticks. But they somehow taught me a lesson.