I have a ten-year-old. It sounds as surreal as it feels. Sometimes I look at her, and I can almost see the baby she used to be. The same big, shiny, dark brown eyes. The same cute button nose. The same adorable smile and squared-off chin.
But then I’m right back in the present, and I see that her adorable head of unruly curls has become a long wavy mane halfway down her back. Those eyes have a new, more inquisitive layer to them. And as she grows taller, we are almost nose to nose.
But here’s what hasn’t changed; her hand still reaches out to grab mine as we walk. Those eyes still dart around the room, looking for me when she needs to be comforted and soften the minute she finds me. It’s that comfort in knowing I’ll always be there as long as she needs me.
It’s interesting to see your child grow and become more independent. We were at a birthday party last weekend, and for the most part, I never saw either of my daughters. They were running around playing with their friends, watching a movie, and overall enjoying the company of others. But my ten-year-old truly sits on the cusp of child to tween, and every so often, she would find me. To help her, to ensure she had a seat at the table she was comfortable at, and to help her put away her goodie bag.
I’ve been trying to figure out where I fit in her new world of independence. I don’t want to crowd her. I don’t want to overstep. I know she’ll need to make her own decisions, which is scary for me. She’s a smart girl with a good “head on her shoulders,” as they say.