Little Girl Lost

I’m not quite sure when it started to become so obvious to me.

Obvious that my little girl isn’t so little anymore.

Was it how her body seemed to stretch overnight, and I found myself almost eye-to-eye with her now? Maybe the slight eye-roll when I said something a bit too uncool? The swing of her hair when she walked down the hall?

Maybe it was the shoes.

The 8th grade promotion shoes. Her feet are small but her need to be big is fierce. We spent hours searching for the perfect shoes for her promotion dance and ceremony.

They had to be perfect.

But being the practical mom that I am, I had guidelines for these shoes. They couldn’t be too tall or too expensive, and she had to be able to walk in them.

Simple enough.

As we searched I watched her try each new pair on her tiny little feet, gazing at herself in the store mirror with an expression I hadn’t seen before.

Then she would walk. As I bit my lip and tried not to say a word, the shoes fought her and won every time.

Too tall; can’t walk in them.

Some lessons can’t be taught by a comment from mom or an I told you so.

We finally found the shoes online…a bit too tall, but she could walk in them and they were perfect with her dress.

The kind of shoes a high school girl wears.

And it hit me.

That little girl who used to run everywhere, who was fiercely independent, who hated naps and loved horses?

She’s gone.

But in her place, I’ve found a confident young lady who is polite, caring, funny, helpful and still fiercely independent.

And I can’t wait to see what high school has in store for her.





  1. So glad I have you to write what I’m feeling the next 4 years. Did they take a group photo of their shoes?

  2. love this. and while teenager girls are a moody, miserable bunch, I find them so interesting, so fabulous, so funny, so inspiring. Good luck to you and your girl. High school is lucky to have her.

  3. I swear, every time I come home from work, I can swear that I can tell that my kids have gotten bigger. It seems like it’ll be tomorrow that I’ll be doing the same.

    But shoes . . . oh, shoes, I’ll never understand them.

  4. The shoes, oh the shoes. Having once been a lil girl, I get her take on the shoes 🙂

    Have a fabulous summer with your girl. 🙂

  5. Oh. I always forget you’re a girl mom too.

    And now I shall get the mom perspective. All I have is the daughter perspective. Mine.

    However I am POSITIVE you have a closer, better relationship than my mom and I did in those days.

    This post tells me that.

  6. My heart hurts a little with this, until I see her smile and know that she is going to be an amazing high schooler and college student and woman 🙂

  7. You’re killing me Smalls!!

    I feel like I get a glimpse of my future life when I read your stories. And I’m truly not even the slightest bit prepared for it to be my reality.

  8. Your story is sweet because while it is heartbreaking (I’m scared of these moments in our future….actually SCARED!) you are able to see all the wonderful bits as well. One day, it will be incredible to discover that I’m raising a woman and not a little girl.

  9. So incredibly beautiful.
    And that daughter of yours? She is fabulous beyond words.
    So often, when I’m interacting with Katie, I ask myself WWSD?
    Because I know that if I can raise her with half of the wisdom and grace that you’ve shown in raising Kelli, we’ll be in great shape.
    Much love to you and your amazing high schooler.

  10. Yes, and please:

    don’t get me started.

    I’ve TWO in high school now.


    Me: the mom of little ones, with two in high school.

    Where did it all go???

    And, please…you’re getting me started!!

  11. “Simple enough” and “fiercely independent”. Oh my heart… I love this.

    You are such a good mom.

    Thank you for sharing your heart.


  12. Thanks for that glimpse into my future. Will it be uncool if I cry alligator tears at the shoe store?

  13. Wow. Amazing post.

  14. I am not ready for my little girl to grow up.
    Not in the least.

    I know this to be true and yet it is happening none the less.

    This Saturday she turns thirteen.

    Lucky 13. For everyone but me.

  15. I’m feeling this way as my baby becomes a toddler. Sigh. They just keep growing

  16. Really great post.

  17. I remember those days. It’s been a few years now, but you never forget. 🙂

  18. Oh my gosh…I love this. I have a 19 year old daughter and I remember seeing her gradually change from a litle girl into a women. I know some people say, “I never want my kids to grow up.” While the times when they are small are so precious, seeing them grow up to be independant adults with interests and talents of their own is absolutely WONDERFUL!

  19. SOBBING. I love what you found, but I fear what you lost. I will NEVER be ready to lose the little.

  20. Oh I have chills! Congrats to your sweet girl, and way to go, mama! You did good with the shoes and the lessons and all of that love!

  21. Oh my, I know exactly how you feel… My oldest just graduated from high school and is spending the summer away working at a youth camp. My youngest is the same age as yours and I have to look up at her to talk to her. How did this happen? Where have my little girls gone?

    I am enjoying the young women they are becoming. And I am so proud of them — just as I know you are of your beautiful daughter.

    Blingerz Community Manager