Big Foot lives here: Sharing shoes with my son, for now anyway

Apr 2, 2008 at 3:00 a.m. ET

I grabbed a pair of shoes from the shoe basket a couple of weeks ago and walked down the road to the mailbox. Midway through my walk, I realized the shoes were not mine. They were my 11-year-old son's shoes. The realization of that literally stopped me in my tracks.

Yes, I bought those shoes for him. Yes, I know his feet are growing. But before that moment I didn't realize he, at 11 has the same size feet as his mother.I then stopped to consider his current statistics. I mean, I've long known he will be taller than me, but that was always an "eventually" concept, not an imminent event. I remember looking at adult height projections based on height at a certain point in toddlerhood (which projected Alfs to be 6'2" as an adult), but it was decades away, I was sure.Alfs is already taller than his paternal grandmother was. At his current pace, he will exceed me in under three years, and I'm not short. He'll exceed his father about that same time, too. We used to joke that when Alfs is a teenager, we'll be straining our heads upwards as we discipline him. It's feeling less and less like a joke.Alfs and I used to have this little thing that we did at bedtime. We'd lie on his bed next to one another and each put one leg straight up in the air to compare lengths. Mine, of course, was always longer. Sometimes we'd stand next to each other and compare arm lengths, too.While we haven't done the leg thing recently, after the shoe incident I asked to look at arm lengths again. Oh my. His arm is less than one inch shorter than mine, shoulder to finger tips. Wow.This growing up thing is both exciting and scary. I'm thrilled that he's growing up strong and tall and healthy, but also it's also scary and emotional and pride-filled for me — all those mom feelings jumbled up inside. And it's going to happen with Woody and Sunshine, too, so I had better get used to it.Amid that jumble, as fast as they grow, as tall as they get, as well as they mature, these kids are still my babies. They always will be.