I muttered to myself, close to tears, as I trudged through the racks of clothes at Kohl’s.
These are so big, I thought. Is this really the size I need?
“How did this happen so fast?” I wondered.
But those Monster High T-shirts and maroon-and-turquoise dresses could mean only one thing:
I was in the Girls Section.
Not the Little Girls Section, with its frilly light-pink dresses and matching outfits for a dolly. The Girls Section, with its sequins and grown-up outfits and, even worse, training bras.
And that means my baby is a big girl now.
In reality, it didn’t happen all that quickly. It took eight years to get here, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
But I am.
Mara’s still little, of course. She’s hardly ready to borrow my car keys or go out on a date.
But she’s growing up.
Her adult teeth have come in, changing her smile. It’s still a beautiful grin that brightens my days. But it’s not the same chubby-cheeked baby face I used to know.
These days, my girl doesn’t need me as much. She can go off and play by herself. Not far away, but far enough that I can’t hear everything she says.
She keeps secrets. Or at least she tries. She wrote “Do Not Read” on her diary. Last week, she wrote a song that she wouldn’t let me read. She even kept it in her pocket all day, because she thought I would sneak a peek.
When I come home from work, she doesn’t always run to the door to give me a hug. And when I pick her up at daycare, she’s all business. Instead of leaping into my arms, she walks the opposite way, toward her cubbie, to get her toys or papers. She waves goodbye to her friends and reluctantly tells me about her day.
Because that’s what big girls do.
Before heading to the register, I strolled through the toddler section, to see if I could find anything for my baby boy.
As I checked the hangers, I realized that many of the sizes stopped at 24 months or 2T.
Charlie turned 3 in February.
And I started to mutter and tear up all over again.
Kara Eberle has been rambling about motherhood since her daughter was 3. Now she has a third-grader and a 3-year-old. Where does the time go?
Just in case you’re interested, here are some more ramblings …