Food & Drink

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11

My big girl is turning 11 today. It hardly seems possible, really.

I still vividly recall the doctor placing her on my chest just mere moments after she was born. It seems like I can reach my hand into yesterday and pluck those moments out.

Except they happened 11 years ago, not yesterday.

As my oldest, Emma has always been the child for which I look forward to the future. I am excited about what lies ahead for her. It isn't often that I have the desire to turn back the clock on her. But recently I find myself wanting to put her in a bubble and freeze time.

It's the combination of her physical growth and her emotional development. She's almost as tall as I am. Every time she stands in front of me, I have to resist the urge to push her down by her shoulders in an effort to shrink her in size.

Although she's still a baby in so many ways, she's understanding so much more about how the world operates and how to find her place in it. Her friends are starting to become a large part of her world.

Our family used to occupy most of her time. Now a small chunk of that time has been broken off and is reserved for her friends.

It makes me both sad and happy at the same time.

I am proud of the young woman she is becoming, but I miss the little girl that is buried deep inside her. The occasions that the little girl emerges are becoming fewer and farther between.

Eleven is bittersweet. She is on the cusp of bigger and better things.

In a month she will graduate from elementary school and move onto middle school. I know it's time. She's ready. Ready for new challenges. Ready for a new life.

I'm not convinced that I am as ready as she is.

But this journey isn't about me. This is her road to travel. Her story to tell. This is her eleventh year to take and run with it.

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