My daughter broke my heart a little last night.

She is in kindergarten now and we were trying to find the least ratty pj’s in her collection to wear for pajama day at school.  Her first choice was a pink nighty with Minnie Mouse on the front.  She has had it for a long time and her legs are getting a bit long for it.  So, I pulled out some footie pajamas and held them up for her consideration.

“What about these pj’s?  They are comfy and warm and cover you up.”

“Those are for babies,” she retorted.

My heart sank.  My jaw dropped.  My baby knows what “baby clothes” are?

“Even the tag has a baby on it,” she explained while pointing out the Gerber label featuring an infant face.

“Oh, okay,” I stammered, “So, you don’t like to wear these at all?”

“I like to wear them to sleep in, but I don’t want to wear them to school,” she explained.

I panicked a little and inside my mind raced.  My baby.  My sweet, once-oblivious baby is starting to see the people around her and make choices based on what others might think.  She wants to fit in.  I knew this was going to happen, but I didn’t expect it so soon.

But then again, maybe this isn’t about peers at all.  Maybe she sees her new sister, whom we call “Baby Sister,” and she wants to define herself in our family as not being the baby.  Even though she has an older brother, she bristles at the idea of being the “Little Sister.”  She always refers to herself as the “Big Sister.”

It’s so hard to know what is going through my children’s minds and what their motivations are because often they don’t even know themselves.  All I do know is that every day I want my daughter to dress herself first “with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”  Dressing that way will make her a great friend.  And, I want her to know that she is one of God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved.”  Having that identity will sustain her through all her trials.  (Colossians 3:12 NIV) 

In the end she wore the Minnie Mouse nighty with some leggings to cover those knobby knees.  She is growing up so fast, and I praise God for my beautiful gal!