"How are you doing with the braces?" I asked my younger daughter as we drove to school the other day.
"Fine, but there have just been a lot of transitions this year," she replied as she ogled her new blue brackets in the lighted mirror on the backside of the visor.
"What do you mean?"
"You know, getting my ears pierced, middle school, getting contacts, braces. That's a lot," she responded, now making faces at herself in the mirror to see the braces with different expressions.
"I never thought of it like that."
And I hadn't.
As adults, we go through a handful of transitions in our lifetime. A new job, marriage, the birth of a child, a new house, but they are few and far between. For kids, everything is constantly changing up until, and many would argue, through college.
So many friends of mine with grown children have told me: "The days are long, but the years are short." To me it means that the trials and tribulations of raising children can seem endless in the moment. But in another moment, they are gone, and the kids are moving on with their own independent lives.
I recall Richard Linklater, the director of the Academy Award-winning movie "Boyhood," saying in an interview that the only time period to make a movie like this (over an 11-year period) was childhood because that's when lives see the biggest changes. He's right.
Change is intrinsically part of our development as human beings. We would like to think we have the capability to change throughout our lives, but the real change happens when we are young. In adulthood, the clay is molded so to speak, not completely hardened and inflexible, but it takes a shape that is likely to define our lifelong journey.
"You're right," I said after a moment. "You have gone through a lot of transitions this year. How do you feel about that? How is that going for you?"
"Pretty good," she said, flipping the visor back up, finished with examining her new smile. "I'm just glad I got contacts so I don't have to wear glasses and braces."
She flashed me a blue metal grin, and I flashed back to myself with braces and glasses and a bad perm in eighth grade. I remember thinking at that time, sometimes change can't come fast enough ...
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.