While Jeremy and Hutch spent Saturday morning doing boy stuff like chopping down trees and shooting guns, Hazel and I spent some time at the park. An older girl, Ella, immediately took to Hazel and followed her around that park the whole time we were there. While Hazel played with her new 8 year old friend, I couldn't help but think how different girls are from boys. Whenever we go anywhere where Hazel is interacting with older kiddos, it's amazing how quickly the older girls are drawn to her (as I am sure they are with all toddler girls). But, it was so funny and interesting to see how Ella followed her around like a shadow and was persistent that she help Hazel with everything. She wanted to go down the slide with Hazel. She wanted to pick her up. She wanted to talk to her and hold her hand. Hazel was about fed up with Ella within about 20 minutes, as Hazel wanted to do everything All. By. Herself. My little girl is growing up and while she certainly didn't mind sitting in on Ella's conversations with friends her own age (she was just a natural in that group of 8 year olds), the last thing she wanted to do was be treated like a little girl.
It made me a little sad, really, to think about my sweet little girl being so independent. She crawled from one "stool" to another. She slid. She attempted the monkey bars. She conquered that rock wall. And she did it without anyone's help. She threw me desperate glances every time Ella swooped down to scoop her up, but I let her fight that battle. After all, she is a big girl now. And, if we have learned anything over the past year or so, it's that Hazel can hold her own. And she did. She told Ella to put her down. She rolled her eyes. She sighed really loud. She made it clear to Ella that she was an equal. Not a sweet little baby. It wasn't too long before Hazel got rid of Ella and was able to regain her independence.
I don't care how old she gets- she will always be my baby girl.