All parents have a moment when they realize their children are truly growing up.
Sometimes it is their long legs peeking out beneath their comforter at night as they sleep. When did her legs get that long? Sometimes it is when a friend comments on how much your child has grown. But there is nothing like the day your daughter's shoe size surpasses your own.
My 11-year-old is about two inches shorter than I am and weighs just about ten pounds less than I do. She's always been a tall girl, but her latest growth spurt seemed to happen overnight. She was even mistaken for me from behind one day as she sat in my cubicle and typed on my computer. We have been sharing T-shirts and jackets for awhile, but my shoes were always slightly too big for her. Not anymore.
The other week her grandmother bought her shoes to go with her Easter dress and they are a full size larger than mine. It was only then that it occurred to me that my daughter might actually end up being bigger than I am in almost every way. I will be the diminutive mother with the statuesque beauty next to me, and everyone will look back and forth between us quizzically and say: "Where in the world does she get her height from?"
The irony is that she looks just like me - just like me when I was a freshman in college that is. So now, when I discipline her we are almost eye-to-eye. When she wants to sit on my lap, because after all she is still my little girl even if she's not so little anymore, her weight practically crushes me.
I smile nonetheless and grin and bear it. She is growing up faster than I did, faster than I want her to, faster than I think I can handle. Yet I see the possibilities, the possibilities of a young woman who will always be my daughter, and also be my friend.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including two on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.