June 9 14

Isabella is almost nine years old. She reminds me of  this fact all the time; she has been planning her birthday party since her last birthday party. She is days away from finishing the third grade; she is almost a fourth grader. She’s BIG, according to her.

(And according to the clothing receipts I have piling up from all of the new shorts and shoes and dresses and bathing suits and pajamas that I keep having to buy for her.)

This is my baby, you guys. No longer a baby. BIG.

And yet.

There’s thing thing that she does.

In movie theaters, in theater theaters, during performances, during shows, during recitals.

She always ends up on my lap.

Once, this weekend, it was because she was a wee bit scared of the alpha dragons in the screening of How To Train Your Dragon 2.

Once, this weekend, it was because she was too short to see over the edge of the stage in our front-row seats to her big sister’s end-of-year hip hop and acro Vibe recital.

In either case, while minding my own business—eating popcorn in one, taking photos in the other (no flash, of course)—a girl who is almost big suddenly feels like a girl who is small as she shimmies her way onto my lap.

I put my arms around her and let her relax into me. I rest my cheek against her fine hair and inhale the smell of the same Johnson’s no-more-tears shampoo she has used since infancy.

When she sits there, in my arms, allowing me to cuddle (and sniff) her, I realize that her legs are dangling off of me, her arms almost as long as mine, she is almost sitting at eye level.

These moments are going to be gone soon, and not just because of logistics.

She won’t need me for protection. She won’t need me for extra height.

After all, she’s almost nine years old.

She’s BIG, you guys.


I just wish it didn’t make me feel so small.


  1. This is a lovely post to read today, on my own baby girl’s 9th birthday. Like Isabella, she loves to sit on my lap. Just this weekend as she wiggled and squirmed her bony butt into my fleshy thighs at her brother’s baseball game, I stopped myself from asking her to get off, and pulled her in a little closer instead. They get so big so fast, don’t they Ali?


    Comment by Jennifer on June 9, 2014
  2. I totally relate to your feelings. Mine is 6 and reminds me all the time about how big she is. But loves to snuggle with me, like she did when she was a baby. I will take it for as long as I can, because soon, it will end. Great post!


    Comment by Tania on June 10, 2014
  3. You will always be “bigger” to her. Not size wise maybe, but you will always be there for love, encouragement, and comfort. Pretty special….


    Comment by Mina Tepper on June 10, 2014
  4. I cannot even believe it. Skyler turns 9 a few months after Bella and it is CRAZY! They are so BIG!


    Comment by Kristabella on June 10, 2014
  5. I can’t believe it either. My Emily still sits on my lap, but it won’t last forever…


    Comment by Angella Dykstra on June 10, 2014

Allowed tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>