The Coming of Age

I'm learning as I go.

I've never walked this parenting road before. 

Just ask my oldest.

She's nine. 

I don't know what ten will look like. I don't know what eleven will feel like. I can't even think about twelve.

I know that my beautiful girl is changing every day. She retreats to the solitude of her room more often. She seeks out new responsibilities more readily. She reaches for my hand less, but needs me more

She is becoming.

On her birthday in January this year, her father gave her a box.

It's similar to the one he gave me. Remember this?

The box contained a simple, loving letter from a father to his oldest daughter.

Those treasured words are for her eyes only.

But I can tell you that we blinked and the baby we longed for is now a young girl. Nine years from now she will be waving from a platform in her cap and gown.

Although I can't fathom that moment, I know it will come.

And since I can't stop The Coming of Age, I won't try.

I will capture it. 


Mrs. Naz of All That Naz & Becoming Me said...

Oh Kristen, that is so very lovely. And she is gorgeous. Happy birthday to your darling 9 yr old. Angela

Tammy said...

*sniff* *wimper*

My BABY boy will be 10 in May. Which is impossible since I just brought him home from the hospital!

She's a cutie...want to arrange a marriage?! ;-)

Dori said...

I'm not even sure how I found your blog and began following you on twitter...maybe through Jean Stockdale's blog...but whatever the case, this post is beautiful!


Kami said...


Just popped over as Elaine linked you on Twitter, well worth the click!

Dorci Harris said...

Your daughter is beautiful, Kristen.

I blinked and my baby will be 20 next month. My other baby will be 18 in October.

Just yesterday, it seems, they were out in the backyard getting mud on the knees of their jeans and starring in school plays.

Bridget said...

What a great gift! I love that idea!

And, yes, she is a beautiful girl...just like mom! :)

Muthering Heights said...

What a lovely, melancholy post!

Lynn said...

What a sweet idea, that her dad wrote her that letter. And these next nine years will fly by.

Meme said...

I am almost in the same part of this walk as you are. My oldest will be turning 9 this summer, and I still remember him sitting in his highchair squeeling in delight like it was yesterday. You are right, we can't stop it, prevent it, or even imagine it - but what a smart momma you are to capture it. Blessings to you and your beautiful family.

Anonymous said...

I know, my baby just turned 4. My oldest is going to start kindergarten. It all happens so fast.

JanMary said...

Precious post - got me all sentimental on a Thursday morning!

Upstatemomof3 said...

Beautifully said. It can be so much fun to watch them grow but it foes by WAY too fast.

Sandy Toes said...

I think this is one of my favorite post..I love the last line....perfect.
sandy toe

iMommy said...

Well whatever ten looks like, I can guess that it will be just as beautiful as nine.

She is gorgeous, btw.... a truly lovely little girl!

southerninspiration said...

Well, hang on mamma, sometimes it can get a little rocky when those hormones invade their bodies and they don't know what to do with them. My mister just taught a Sunday school class on parenting your teens......ours are nearly out of those sad, but it a lovely time to watch them blossom into young women and men. She looks like a beautiful bud!


Sandy said...

Oh, that is so much my favorite age. Wait until she is 12 ... we'll talk later. hee hee.


everyday mom of one said...

What a beautiful post. I am a long way of nine even but it sure gets you thinking.

~*Michelle*~ said...

beautiful girl......beautiful words!

KK said...

Savor this precious 'young lady' each and every day. Enjoy her!
Blessings today and always,
Matthew 21:22

marky said...

it is an exciting and terrifying journey for sure!

Jenn said...

This was absolutely beautiful!

everydayMOM said...

My oldest son has that same smile... the one where the teeth in the middle are adult teeth and then the four on the outside of those are either missing or baby teeth. Every time I look at his smile, it seems to symbolize where he is in life... moving from a baby to a big kid.

That Girl said...

Time really does fly. My baby will be 8 in Sept so I know exactly what you are talking about. I miss the baby coo's.

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

Beautiful! It is so bittersweet, isn't it? I love to watch them grow but wish it didn't go so fast.

Beth said...

I have a 12 year old and a 10 year old (both girls) and let me tell doesn't get any easier! They will only hug me in the privacy of our own home. They act like I am SO EMBARRASSING in front of their friends, even though their friends think I'm a cool mom (and I know they privately think I'm pretty cool, too). They talk back sometimes which makes me CRAZY! However, the moments we share when it's just us are WONDERFUL. Those now rare hugs warm me from head to toe and when we get to giggling about silly stuff, those moments override all the ones that drive me CRAZY!

Just be patient. There is a beautiful young lady behind that childlike smile. She's trying to decide when to make her presence known. Even though you'll miss those "baby" days, you'll learn to love the ones to come!

Blondie said...

How sweet!

My older son, Andrew, will be ten in April. I am floored that I will have a child that is in double digits! More than anything, I am truly faced with the reality that the time passed so quickly.

Where did the time go?

~~Rhonda said...

I'm mom to five babes, the oldest turning 30 this year...yikes! How did THAT happen??? But my youngest baby girl just turned 11. I've been through it before (2 sons, 2 older daughters) and I am still NOT prepared for what lies ahead for baby #5...she can't possibly be older than two, can she?? :'} ~~Rhonda

Mom2fur said...

She's adorable--what a great smile!
Take it from a mom of 18, 22 and 26 (boys) and 24 (girl)--there's something to celebrate at every age! (As I'm sure you've already noticed, LOL!)

Christie O. said...

wow, very very sweet post. i can't believe how quickly time passes. i'm trying my best to cherish every moment of it.

Happy Mommy said...

I love love love the box! I think your daughter will always treasure those letters! Wow, your husband is doing a great job!

Jane Anne said...

Beautiful post and reminder that we cannot stop time so we might as well embrace it. The dad to daughter letter is priceless.

MyLinda said...

That was beautiful, I had tears in my eyes! That is a great idea of a letter from Daddy to daughter... I'll have to do a subtle suggestion to the hubs!

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

You hit the nail on the head! I think my oldest's birthdays are the hardest of all of them. I wish I could just stop time, but then again, I'm enjoying watching him grow. Happy Birthday to your beautiful girl!

LANA said...


MOMSWEB said...

Bless your heart. The Coming of Age is no fun for me. First-born is 13 and I'm sick to my stomach about it. My baby is gone!

Amanda said...

She's so beautiful. Those words were so beautiful I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for that reminder.

Tracey said...

Lovely post! What a beautiful reminder of how quickly our little ones grow up. I hope to cherish the time I have now and create beautiful memories we can treasure.

A said...

How beautiful. I just teared up reading your sweet words. I have a 14 year old and wow, 2 years she'll be driving and I'm not sure I can take it, but I can, if that makes sense. Have a GREAT weekend.

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

BEAUTIFUL post! I have a 9 year old son, and while boys and girls are very different, I can relate. They are changing right now. No longer our babies, and yet they always will be.

Mrs. Nurse Boy

Heather said...

Love this post Kristen!!

I can't imagine my oldest turning 9. I don't even like the fact that he's about to turn 4!

You sound like such a great mother! She will love reading all the beautiful words you have written about her when she's older.

Wanda said...

Oh Kristen
You are so right. My oldest is a senior this year. He's just been accepted to IU pre-med. I am past the wigging out stage. It just seems like yesterday we were rocking him and singing our heads off. He's been more than we ever dreamed or prayed for. Our daughter's are right behind him....a sophmore and an 8th grader. Time is a racer!
I've cherished being a mama. It's the greatest gift I've ever received.
Enjoy everyday!

TK said...

That is a beautiful reminder to embrace our dear girls. My oldest is also nine and I am trying to keep her close, while letting her spread her wings. We've created a daughter diary. She can write anything in it that she likes and she passes it to me then I can respond without judgement or tone of voice. It's really opened a door for us that enables her to speak her mind without fear. I LOVE your box idea and am going to try to encourage my hubby to do that for our daughter.

Lauren said...

Geez woman! why do you always make me cry. this was so dang sweet :)

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

In about ten weeks, my oldest, our baby girl will be walking down with her cap and gown...I cannot even believe I am on this side of the fence now.

Goodness, that tired old saying is true, time flies.

..whether you are having fun, or not.

Anonymous said...