“Mommy…would you tie my shoes?”

I’m sure most of you have been asked that question innumerable times, as have I.  I’ve been tying shoes for other people most of my life.  Stopping in the midst of busy crowds, standing in line for movie tickets, on sidewalks and in department stores…un-knotting, re-tying and double-knotting laces for nearly three decades.  How exciting, when the children began to tie their own shoes…some learned more quickly than others, but all of them reveled in this newly discovered independence.

“Mommy…would you tie my shoes?”

This was Emily’s request, earlier this afternoon.  Suddenly, I’m assailed by the older children.  “Doesn’t she know how to tie her shoes yet?!”  “Don’t do it for her…why don’t you just teach her?”

Why?  Because she’s the baby.  Never mind that she’s five.  She’s my baby.  She still fits on my lap, falls asleep on my shoulder, wears fuzzy jammies and likes to cuddle.  And she needs me to tie her shoes.

Or at least she did.  Galahad the Gallant took her aside for approximately 5 minutes and taught her to tie her shoes.  And she’s immensely proud of herself.  Because she can do it herself and she doesn’t need mommy to do it for her.

Except…I didn’t mind.


As she ties her laces, I feel each tug and pull in my heart, reminding me that all of these little milestones are really stepping stones towards the path of growing independence.

But she still can’t reach the cereal bowls…

And yes.  That’s pink nail polish with blue polka-dots on the hands of my baby little girl…