It All Changes When You Aren’t Looking

Each month I take my daughter out on a “girl’s day” where it is just her and I against the world.  This used to be our daily way to live.  It was just us for so long.  We were everything to each other.  I sort of thought it would be like that forever.

This is where you shake me and wake me up from my dream world.

For most of my daughter’s life (even now) she has been taller than all the other children.  People would treat her as if she were older and we always had to remember that she was much younger than she looked and keep our expectations in check.  It is easy to believe a child can achieve above their capacity when they are a foot taller than kids her age.  I believe I had done that for so long that I put myself in a tough spot.

She is 11….and I find myself treating her younger than that.  It hit me really hard today when we went out together.  She wanted to go to the mall….the mall.  A year ago I couldn’t get this kid in a clothing store and now she is looking for new fashions and trying to be hip.  She walked around liking all sorts of things I would have never guessed she was interested in.  With each new store came another mystery that would chop me off at the knees.  For the first time in my life I felt like I might be an embarrassment to her.

It wasn’t a horrible afternoon by any means.  We laughed and had lunch and commented on the state of fashion.  She told me some boys have crushes on her and we both smiled sideways with a sparkle in our eyes. I watched her steal glances a kids her age as if studying what they were doing so she wouldn’t be behind.  She is growing up.  She is becoming a young lady.

She will always be my baby, but she is growing up fast….faster than my old heart can take.

Tonight, after she has long since been in bed, I realized that I don’t really know my daughter anymore.  I feel insignificant and small.  I feel like I am drowning in air.  I wonder if my mother felt this way with me?  I wonder if all mothers go through this?  I am not sure how to weather it.  I have to find a way.  I sure wish they had a handbook for these sorts of things.


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