And I held on tight

child and mom holding handsI stood there in my daughter’s fifth-grade classroom at open house night, looking at all the things she’s made throughout the year…

the life-sized human body, the history timelines, the intricate drawings of plant and animal cells…

and it hit me all over again how much older she’s getting.

Middle school, I thought, almost not believing it.

She’ll be in middle school next year.

Another parent who hadn’t seen my daughter in a while came up to us. “She’s gotten so tall,” she said.

I nodded. “I know.”

We passed other kids on the way out and I thought the same thing… they were all taller than I remembered. More mature, too.

It’s here, I realized.

She’s growing up.

It’s here.

We walked across the playground to leave the school. I watched my daughter as she ran ahead, and I thought…

I hope she knows, as she gets older, that she can come to me with anything.

My mind sped to the teenage years that are just around the corner…

I hope she stands up to peer pressure. And I hope she knows that, even when she makes mistakes–because we all do–I’ll still love her.

I thought about high school, and college, and the dreams my daughter has,

wanting more than anything for her to achieve those dreams,

wanting her to enjoy the journey along the way.

We left the playground and headed through the park toward our house. All around us, other families walked home too. Kids rode their bikes and played. Laughter filled the air.

“Come on, Mommy,” my daughter called, motioning for me to hurry. I jogged to catch up, still thinking…

Even if we hit bumps in the road as she gets older, I hope I can be patient. And fair.

I hope we always have a good relationship.

I hope…

And that’s when I felt something…

her hand–not tiny anymore like it used to be, but still small, still young–slipping into mine.

I looked at her and smiled.

She smiled back, unaware of the thoughts racing through my mind.

We crossed the street like that,

holding hands,

and when we got to the other side, she pulled me toward the sidewalk and squeezed my fingers.

I squeezed back

and I held on tight…


  1. Well thank for bringing tears to my eyes! Beautiful post and I can certainly relate. Fifth grade IS middle school for us and Parker is completing his first year in just a few short days. Can't believe that 6th grade is next…and 1st grade for our Faithy.It's bittersweet, isn't it?Peace and blessings to your day!Jeanine

  2. Hi, Genny! See…I'm here…over there to the left :)Thanks for your comment today on my blog. Makes me feel better.Hope you're having a beautiful day!Jeanine

  3. This brought tears to my eyes too – beautifully written! My baby girl, now a tween, is turning into a lady right before my eyes, yet I see a glimmer of the little baby we brought home from the hospital. Precious, precious times! MIKI

  4. This was great! My little one is only five months old. She is my first, and I can't imagine her being in the fifth grade. We need to cherish our babies because the time goes by so fast!God bless!Jennifer

  5. Okay you made me cry…thank you for putting your feelings into such beautiful words. I had a similiar experience a couple of weeks ago cleaning out my 5 year old son's closet and holding his baby clothes…time flies.

  6. "Cherish the days and try not to look ahead"… I love it, Julie. Thanks!p.s. Having some issues with comments not showing up. If yours was affected… sorry!

  7. Oh Genny, It DOES go so quickly. My granddaughter just graduated from kindergarten yesterday…seems like just yesterday I stood amazed as she was bone…So grateful for the moment you had with your little one…at least one more time.

  8. It happens so quickly. I have a daughter who graduated HS last year, a son who soon will be driving, a daughter entering double digits in a few weeks, and a son who will be in 2nd grade in the Fall. Yikes!

  9. What a beautiful post.I felt such similar things last night at my son's band concert. They grow up so quickly.-FringeGirl

  10. You brought a melting to my heart today with your post. My daughter is younger than yours, but I can imagine and feel what you described with yours! So beautiful and true.

  11. Nice post. I can relate because my oldest will be graduating from elementary school next month. The years sure do fly by. It seems like just yesterday I was watching her crawl! Thanks for following my blog.Have a good weekend!

  12. I guess all we can do is hold on tight because the time goes way too quickly and they grow way to fast. :)

  13. Hey Genny,Thanks for sharing your story about your daughter.What fun years await! My daughter is 15 and a sophomore in high school. There's a little more ebb and flow, but recently she told me that I'm her best friend!Praying for you to be your daughter's best friend as she enters middle school.Blessings,Melanie

  14. That was really sweet. I had to give my daughter a tight hug. Feels like she was born yesterday but in reality, she is as tall as me with bubbies! Stopped by from FFF at MBC and am now following.

  15. So beautiful! I teared up a little bit while reading this. Growing up is so bittersweet…for them and for us.P.S. You are such a wonderful mom!

  16. Pingback: The moments… now :: Genny Heikka

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