My daughter Mia turned nine years old a few days ago.
My wife jokingly said "we only have another nine years to go!" I smiled. In another nine years, Mia will turn 18, technically an adult. Do I really have that little time left with my daughter as a "child"?
Sometimes I find myself staring at her. How did that little baby we had nine years ago become this big girl? I look long and hard at her face, picking out my features, my wife's features. I watch her while she reads or plays video games or sits at the computer, and I think I can see her adult demeanor. I hear Mia talking and I think I can hear her all grown up. I hold her hand, and I imagine it the size of mine.
Mia has an interest in the adult world. We drive by the middle school and high school. When we go into town, we point out where Jenn went to college. She's been to my office. There's a very interesting future waiting for her, and she seems up for it.
Maybe this is the middle of parenthood. A fond remembrance of the baby she was, but an eagerness for the adult she will become. Nine more years. It almost seems too short.