When her wrists are exposed by every shirt she's worn in the past week.
When she doesn't need a step at the bathroom sink, even to reach the highly hung mirror over the tall vanity.
When she flips her hair or rolls her eyes in a way that will be commonplace in a few years.
When she volunteers to get rid of the last of the fancy dress-up dresses that survived the past purge.
When I realize that my volatile little girl has become an absolute delight.
It took me a while to notice the change, and it's taken me longer to understand: My daughter is the change. She is older, more mature, and substantially less difficult. She is easier to be around. She is fun to be around. And her older brother has noticed. So have I.
She rarely flies into a rage. She screams less. She hasn't thrown anything at us in a long time. She is as rational and predictable as you could hope from a seven-year-old. She has retained all of the best aspects of her younger, independent, strong-willed self and outgrown the volatility that came along with it. I delight in spending time with her.
I miss that little round face, and I'm having a hard time donating the bathroom step stool. But I do not miss the high-maintenance kid I once had. I will appreciate that change every single day until further growth and the arrival of hormones change things once again. (Heaven help us all.)