So here we are. The last day of my youngest child’s sweet sixteen year. Tomorrow she will be one step closer to adulthood. Not to get ahead of myself, I know she’s still not a true adult. But she is closer.
Seventeen. The image that conjures up could be very scary. On one level it is. I don’t remember what it’s like to have your whole life in front if you. To be on the cusp, where one has just enough information to make life decisions but not enough life experience to make them.
My baby. The one who still climbs up into my lap for a hug and a cuddle and then leaps off to go to her room for hours to be spent on the phone. Or is it snapchat? Or Instagram? Or facebook? Or her computer? She was born to technology, it is as familiar to her as using a toothbrush.
I promised myself when I was seventeen I wouldn’t become the adult who didn’t know how to use the latest gadgets. I used to help my parents use their eight tracks cassettes. I could not understand what the difficulty was. It said eject, play, rewind right there. That’s the real issue, isn’t it? Not that she’s growing up. My older children have reached this stage and so much more being nine and six years older than her. What the real issue here is… Me. The nostalgia creeping in is for my own youth. The excitement for the future is all hers though.
The possibilities that await her are endless. She is smart, beautiful and kind. If she chooses to use all the gifts she has been given she has the potential to soar. The scary part for a parent is whether or not their child will use those gifts. It has taken me almost fifty years to figure out what all of my kids figured out by ten. They are their own people.
They are on their own journey. Their decisions are theirs alone. My husband and I have sunk all we have and then more than we thought we had into our babies like most parents do. But then we lose control. We don’t get to finish the job. Very hard for a control freak like me. No, parents are then relegated to the bench. We have to watch. Occasionally we can coach. Ok……..maybe we coach a lot. But we no longer have the ability to choose for them.
So choose well, my sweet girl. You are always going to be my baby. My lap will always be there waiting for you. I’ll always be your biggest fan and probably your constant coach, ( I’ll work on that).
Choose to soar, to grow and to continue to learn. Don’t give up, don’t doubt yourself and never doubt my love for you.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Mom. (Janie)