Walking around Target, I was blindsided. “Mom, can I buy a bra?” An innocent enough request. After all, she is ten, though she hardly NEEDS to wear one. And yet I am dumbfounded and rendered speechless (no small feat, I assure you). I SHOULD have seen this coming. But it’s like I’m living in Denial-land. And of course she decides to go for the one-two punch a few days later, asking to have her ears pierced. Yes, I know as parents we can say NO. And I often do. But with Taylor, I know these requests are more about confidence and self-assurance, and she is saying, “I’m ready, Mom.” Ready to bridge the gap between little girl and young woman. Moving on from kid to tween.

So I am now the mom of a bra-wearing, ear pierced ten year old (but keep it on the down-low because she would FLIP if she knew I had shared this). I just have to sigh and stifle the tears a bit. Because it’s not about me. She is testing those wings. And this is all part of the process where I learn to let my babies go. Thankfully, it’s a long progression and I have many years left. But here in Denial-land, the warning bells are going off.

Over a month ago, I discovered a bird’s nest in our garage. The mama bird had built it in my party decorations box stored on a top shelf. From that moment, we had to leave our garage door open-all the time. Even while we were gone to the beach for vacation (thankfully we have awesome neighbors). And we watched for weeks. And waited. Until finally, we heard little chirps. Saw the 3 babies. Even after I was convinced that they babies were dead (in my defense, there was no chirping and I hadn’t seen mama bird), they made it. Our garage-bound baby birds lived. And we witnessed their takeoff. Actually, we had to help them escape our messy garage, to the backyard where mama bird waited to begin flying lessons. (Because they might have gotten lost in the maze of all our crap and never gotten out.) Out of habit, we left the garage open that night-just in case-but they didn’t return to the nest. They were out in the world. And who knows how long with their mama until they flew off for good. I marvel at that when I think about my baby birds. Nope, I’m not ready. But I better get there. Like it or not, flying lessons have already begun.

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