Here’s a photo of me that is just about 11 1/2 years old. Look at all that hair on my head. Look at how teeny tiny my daughter, Katlynn was at not even a month old. Wow, where has the time gone?

I love this photo, because Katie and I used to nap like this a lot.  I used to call her my “Teddy Bear” because she was warm and soft, and she was better than Nyquil.  In fact, Katie was my “Teddy Bear” for long after she could walk and talk.  She used to snuggle up on the couch with me in front of the TV, and I would be OUT.  She’d sneak out from under my arm when the snoring started and laugh at me when I woke up.

How quickly time passes. She’s 11 1/2 years old now – in training bras and obsessed with her internet sites. She’s a little big for snuggling now, but every once in a while she’ll snuggle up to watch a movie. Yes, it won’t be long until there are no more couch snuggles from my little Teddy Bear anymore. She’ll be all “grown up” and wanting to do her own thing.

And while that makes me a bit sad, it’s also been incredible to watch this beautiful little girl grow up – to watch her become her own person with her own personality – to see what bits of me and bits of her mother come out in her actions and attitudes. It’s funny to think that I created this little thing that will make her own way in the world some day.

Thinking about all of this reminds me of a story I had almost forgotten.

When Katie was around 5 or so, I found her crying one night. She was sobbing to herself, and I asked her why she was crying.

She had been watching some show on Disney earlier in the day, and the older child had moved out to go to college or something.  She sobbed, “I don’t want to move out when I’m 18. I don’t want to ever leave you and mommy.”

I hugged her up to me and explained that it didn’t work like that. That you don’t just automatically HAVE to move out when you turn 18, but I also laughed and said, “I think you’ll feel differently about it when you’re older, but there’s no need to worry about it now.” – through tears, she said, “NO, I WON’T!”

Of course, I’ll remind her of that when she wants to move out when she’s 18. We’ll see if she’s singing the same tune.