There has been a subtle shift in the Red Bean lately. As she’s grown further into her tenth year, I catch glimpses of the teenager she is growing into. The woman she will become.

Folding clothes in my room the other day I heard her asking her brother which necklace went best with each shirt she tried on. There were murmurs punctuated by the occasional laugh. She waltzed into my room for a final ruling, “Is the necklace too much?” It was but I didn’t have the heart to say. It wouldn’t have been fair. I’m a minimalist through and through. She is young, still experimenting with color and matching, still drawn to the bright! shiny! Instead I smiled, told her she looked lovely as always, that if wearing the necklace made her happy, she should do so. She walked back into her room and I overheard her telling her brother, “Who knew being beautiful was so much work?”

I laid down in that pile of laundry and closed my eyes. I can still clearly see the little girl I was handed, the dark head of hair, her perfect rosebud lips. She was a porcelain doll come to life. And now she’s grown. Not quite grown. Still growing. I can’t seem to reconcile the small babe she was with this gossamer creature she has become. I’ve been a watchful mama and yet, I cannot tell you when it happened. When it began. I can’t even begin to count the myriad ways my life has changed since a pregnancy test showed two little pink lines. And the ways she’ll change my life with all her growing and coming into her own? Unfathomable. I love growing with this girl of mine.

I’m linking up with momalom for Five for Five today.

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  • yes. close to my heart this post is, as i watch my 11 y.o. girl blossom and my heart cracks a little with pride and wistfulness.ReplyCancel

    • admin

      oh yes, it’s an emotional tug of war watching all these changes.ReplyCancel

  • 29 years ago I gave birth to by first baby, my only girl. I was so young, only nineteen and she never knew it, but she taught me so much.. unconditional love, patience, becoming a morning person instead of the night owl I was, and how to stand up and speak defend her, if not myself, how to be a mom and now a grandmom. Your daughter is beautiful Amanda and I can only watch with excitement as you will experience so many wonderful things with your daughter[s], it’s wonderfully amazing…I promise.

  • Lovely. I see the same things with my almost 10 year old. The time is going by so fast (good thing we have wee ones behind them, right?).ReplyCancel

    • admin

      oh yes! i thought of that yesterday, so thankful i still have the babies to hold close a little longer!ReplyCancel

  • it seems in the day to day nothing changes and then all at once it has.

    i know this feeling.

    it is a proud moment to realize your girl is growing, powerful and knee-shaking.ReplyCancel

  • Oh my goodness! She is beautiful! Our children aren’t the only ones who have growing pains. I’m having them on a regular basis…the growing up and letting go…it’s very painful and so rewarding at the same time.ReplyCancel

  • I have a ten year old, too, and wrote about her today also. It’s such a crazy age–so on the cusp of…everything.ReplyCancel

  • It’s a marvel – every step of the way. There was no stage or age that didn’t mesmerize me! You’ve really captured this feeling we all carry as moms so beautifully! And I just LOVE that you let her be beautiful with her choice of necklace and didn’t impose your taste on her…I never had that as a young girl and prayed like a maniac to be able to give my kids room to make choices and develop their own tastes!ReplyCancel

    • admin

      thank you adrienne! i think i’m aware about not imposing my choices because like you, i never was allowed to make my own choices. better to let her start practicing with small things so she’ll be ready for the big choices!ReplyCancel

  • They are gossamer creatures, aren’t they? So fragile, at least from the outside, from our eyes.ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful post, and definitely one that resonates with me.

    My first is only 3.5 and yet when I look at her sure-footed big-girl feet, I lament the wrinkled, dimpled ones that kicked the air as I nursed her to sleep. I love watching her grow, but it also saddens me that these same feet will one day walk away from me.ReplyCancel

  • Yes, lovely post today.
    This pinched my heart a bit. I can relate to this all to well.
    10- a lovely age- it goes fast Amanda, mine is almost 15.ReplyCancel

    • admin

      oh camilla…you brave, brave woman.
      i’ll be turning to you for support when the teens hit 😉ReplyCancel

  • My oldest daughter is 11, caught between growing up and wanting to stay little. I see glimpses of the teenager she’s becoming and the little girl she used to be all the time. This was a beautiful post!ReplyCancel

  • Love your last line “I love growing with this girl of mine.” Pretty much sums up what life is like for me right now, growing, learning and changing alongside my little man.

    Sounds like a lovely journey you are on.ReplyCancel

  • Oh stab in my heart. This is such truth. Having just celebrated the birthday of my oldest child over the weekend I found myself experiencing similar emotions. How is he the same person as that tiny baby laid on my chest eight years ago? We know they will change–and that we will, too–but it’s not easy to make sense of the process as it’s happening. Thanks so much for joining in!ReplyCancel

  • Oh Amanda your writing always hits me right in the gut. She is so beautiful. I know exactly what you mean, you watch and they still grow up so quickly. Unbelievable. I am with Kim. I love that last line. Surely we are all growing up together with our children.

  • reading this post and your last has left me in a puddle of tears. yes to everything you said. and now, somehow, i am sitting in an empty nest. wondering how it happened. oh but it is so sweet to live and love so fully. and your girl is so beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Your comment about her saying “Being beautiful is hard work” made me laugh. I love when my kids say things like that–things that seem older than their years, but that really just show that I often underestimate their understanding :)ReplyCancel

  • What a beautiful post. You’ve made me cry! My little one is only 2 and yet watching her grow and watching her grow into an independent little girly girl is the most precious thing in the world. I can only imagine how it’ll be when she’s 10 if 2 years went by this quickly! I am so blessed to be her Momma! What a beautiful thing it is to share this journey with the wonderful ladies here in blogland!ReplyCancel

  • beautiful girl, she probably doesn’t need a necklaceReplyCancel

  • What a beauty your girl is!! It is so bittersweet (my girl is 11) but so amazing to see how the transformation from baby – to where they are now. ~sigh~ReplyCancel

  • She is beautiful and the words you have woven together are beautiful too. Mine is 22 yo today and the years have flown by! Have fun with the pre teen and teenage years, I thought they were fun and so enjoyable :)ReplyCancel

  • I need to remember this. Let them be bright and shiny. Let them go overboard. Let them be whatever makes them happy. Let their changes be theirs and not mine. (But I will still tell my 11-year-old son to take off the bulldog-on-a-chain he won at the fair.) 😉ReplyCancel

  • Ha! I love the line about falling down in the laundry and closing your eyes… and listening in. I do the same. I smirk, I laugh, and I wonder how much more time will go by without me noticing it. Or noticing it too much. Or noticing it just enough. It so bittersweet- watching them fly.


  • Manise

    Happens in a blink of an eye it seems. Brings out the wistful in me and most who have visited you here today. Mine is now 22 yo and I do remember that tender age when they start growing into their own. Red Bean is beautiful and you have done a great job. She rocks that hat btw. :-)ReplyCancel

  • It happens right before our eyes and yet we miss it, it seems. My baby will be 20 this year and I can still see her sweet little 2 year old face every time I look at her. Ages 12-14 were no picnic but now she has come back to me, it seems, and I enjoy her company so much.ReplyCancel

  • I can’t believe my baby girl will be turning 38 in just a couple weeks. It’s one blessing after another—with the best one of all…….she has turned into an amazing mama and my very best friend. What a beauty you have now—what a friend, I’m sure, she’ll turn into. (You might have to wait through those teenage years, though!!!!)ReplyCancel

  • My oldest is 10. It really is the year we starting seeing the teenager lurking inside. So hard!ReplyCancel

  • Just gorgeous. Gorgeous girl. Gorgeous musing. How have I not been here before? Thrilled to have found my way here today.ReplyCancel

  • Yes. They grow. I’ve enjoyed watching my boys go through their stages. They’ve got milestones yet but the change has been amazing. Visiting here from – nice to meet you!ReplyCancel

  • In four years, my only will be ten. I’ve already witnessed so many small and big changes. I suspect when she turns ten I will mourn her single digit ages. Glad to meet you through Five for FIve.ReplyCancel

  • What a beautiful girl! I feel like that more about my Kate than my Teenager at this point. Hang in there mama.ReplyCancel

  • Found you via Momalom…really lovely snapshot into your life. Thank you :)ReplyCancel

  • You’ve made me well up. How quickly they grow.ReplyCancel

  • What a lovely post. She is beautiful. xReplyCancel

  • It does happen so quickly! My daughter just turned five and I cannot believe that we are on the brink of kindergarten!! Trying to savor each moment is so important, but also a bit hard to do at times. I do the best I can to enjoy as much of it as possible! Your little lady is beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • beautiful. her, and you.

  • Beautiful, Amanda. She’s precious. Enjoy every moment — it does get a bit more complicated as they get older, although there are still many moments of beauty (my rosebud is 14).ReplyCancel

  • This is so beautiful, Amanda! …and I can relate so well!ReplyCancel