The change from baby to toddler and toddler to kid are obvious, marked changes, but the change from little kid to just plain kid happens so slowly that you don't notice it until one day you're folding laundry and you realize that your daughter's t-shirts aren't much smaller than your own.
Zoe turned 9 over 6 months ago now, but with the new school year underway and watching Zoe in her various activities and interests it has hit me lately that she's so damn grown up now. She's in 4th grade -- a grade I really remember. I think its an age when you start to come into your own as an individual. Or maybe I was a slow starter because I think Zoe has known herself for awhile now.
In any case, she has her own interests, her own likes and dislikes, her own tastes in books, movies, etc. I love seeing these things develop in her -- especially as she pursues things like Greek Mythology and softball -- things we really don't share. I'm pretty sure the Percy Jackson series of books will be to her what the Little House books were/are to me. At the same time, I have to admit to being also saddened to see her so obviously grow away from me. I know that's part of the overall goal behind raising a child -- to send a good person out into the world, but it hurts a little to think at some point, she won't need me. Of course, I hope she'll always need me, but it won't be as a baby or kid needs their Mommy. She won't ask me to get her milk or tie her shoes. She won't want me to wash her hair.
However, whether she needs me or not, I'm not ready to lend her my t-shirts. Thank goodness her feet are still way too small for my shoes!