It all started back in the summer. I had a ton of fun this year with my daughter and her friends. We went camping, did some day trips, suntanned on the beach, had some sleepovers and we even made a stop in Stratford to see where The Biebs came from.
K, maybe it actually started a little bit earlier. I have four kids but only one daughter. She turned 12 this past spring and I've noticed a few changes, a few things that would start to push me out of the picture, type changes. This is probably what spawned my goal for having a summer of fun with her and of course with her goes a gaggle of friends.
Did you ever notice that girls are like wolves... they only travel in packs?!
It's not like I needed to schedule another activity for my daughter to do. Between being on leadership council for her youth group at church, being co-captain of her Volleyball Club Team, and the homework required to maintain her straight A report card... she was busy enough.
I also noticed something that was needed in the lives of these young ladies she chums with. Sure, I'd start a club for the girls and we'd braid each others hair and have lots of fun but in between all the giggles, crying could be heard.
One day my heart just broke. I had to do something.
It is my opinion that grades 6 to 9 is a pinnacle point in a young lady's life. I believe this is where decisions made, choices provided, things that happen to a girl during this time, whether out of her control or not, can make her or break her.
This is a time filled with such uncertainty, insecurities, self-doubt, self-loathing and sometimes self-harm. It's hard enough trying to figure out your physical changes, then add your influx of hormones, school changes, mean girls come out of the closet and then add to all of that... divorce. This year alone, five of my daughter's close, close, close, BFF's if you will... parents split-up. I've cried with each one of them as they've come to me for a shoulder and a hug.
All of those reasons and a few more are why I opened up our home and put out the welcome mat for any girl within driving distance of our house (in grades 6 to 9) to come over; hang out, chill, laugh, learn some things about our bodies and our emotions, talk about those tough questions we couldn't ask our moms, make some stuff, play some games and grow up strong and confident together.
But the most important reason and driving factor for GLO is this....
I want a relationship with her when she's 16.
We made Pinterest-inspired craft stick snowflakes last night. I smile each time I look at my white spray-painted hands or see sparkles on my floor, tables, carpet, pants and toes. :) I can't wait until the next time we get together... a dozen or so girls baking in my kitchen. That should be a hoot!
So what does GLO stand for? A combination of things and more gets added to it as we get together. It started out as Girls Loving Ourselves and then, Girls Loving Others, was added to it. Who knows what it'll turn out to be in the end but in the meantime... we're going to enjoy the journey!