"What do you think of this?" Ab asked as she walked into my bedroom. For the last hour, she had been trying on clothes from her closet and mine. Her fashionista vibe was in full force, and she was creating some very interesting outfits to prepare for the new school year. I was more than a little worried that I would have to veto her latest creation, so I cautiously emerged from my closet to take a look.
I was not prepared for what I saw.
There was my Ab, my little girl, looking very much like a young lady. She was wearing my black and white graphic short dress, except on her, it came down to her knees. Ab combined the dress with black leggings, and in her short cropped blonde bob, she sported a white headband. She topped off her ensemble with red sandals that let her cute painted toes peak out from underneath their straps. It was a great outfit.
"Mom?" she questioned, breaking me from my daze. "Well, what do you think? " she asked as she did a giddy little twirl. I could tell that she was happy with herself and with her look. She radiated her confidence.
And it hit me.
She was so beautiful. . . and . . . she wasn't a little girl any longer.
Oh, my brain knew that she still liked to snuggle with me before bed, and that she still enjoyed playing with her Littlest Pet Shop animals for hours on end, but my heart knew that that twirl and that confidence marked a turn for Ab down the road towards being a big girl, a young lady. Abbie was growing up, right before my eyes, and apparently I was not ready for it. Not at all.
"Oh Ab," I sighed, "You look beautiful." I felt like my words were choking me, as I fought back my tears.
Ab smiled, then responded, "Mom? Are you crying?" She came over and wrapped her arm around my shoulder.
We were almost the same height.
I smiled through my tears and answered honestly, "Yes. I am. I'm your mom and I am allowed to cry. Now, if you would please go in your room and stop growing, I will stay here and stop crying."
She rolled her eyes at me, gave me a squeeze, and said, "Mom, you are so weird sometimes." And, with that, she skipped back into her bedroom.
And I watched her. Intently.
Acutely aware of how blessed I am to be a part of her growth . . .
And acutely aware of how my days of having a little girl are numbered.