In mom's shoesI walked into Payless Shoes to get my 10-year-old some school shoes before the masses cleaned the shelves and was shocked into reality—

My baby is the same size shoe as I am.

How can this be? She’s 10. And I don’t mean 10, close to 11. I mean really 10-years-old. Her birthday’s in May.

It’s bad enough I had to break down and buy her a bra this summer. Now she’s an inch taller than her almost 12-year-old sister.

I should have expected this. I should have seen this coming. She has Saint Bernard puppy feet and she’s so long and lean you might mistake her for a tanned Gumby. On her second birthday, I did that thing where you measure your kid’s height and double it to know how tall they’ll be as adults. She’s supposed to be 6’1”—three inches taller than her very tall mom and an inch taller than her dad.

Well, she does have a 16-year-old brother whose 6’3”, so it’s destiny—this 5’9½” mom will soon to be living in The Land of the Giants.

I got eight years left before she can fly the coop. Eight years. That’s two less than what I’ve had so far and that 10 has blown by like a prime time season finale.

Then I’ll really miss the towels and dirty clothes on the guest bathroom floor. I’ll miss turning off the television—paused in game mode—every time I walk by it. I’ll miss her laptop, DSI, Wii U console, and full contingent of SkyLander figurines splayed across the living room.  And I’ll miss the “Mommmm!” screamed from the other side of the house 10 times a day.

Okay, let’s just call this little brush with reality a wake-up call. A reminder to treasure every moment—even the annoying ones–with my baby because she won’t be a child much longer.

There truly is a time for everything…even for your youngest to open the front door, take their 9½ size foot, and step out into the world on their own.

Sob.

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