To My Daughter on Her 18th Birthday,
Oh Sweet T, How did we get here? Wow-We’re about to celebrate your eighteenth birthday, so it seems like the proper time to say a few things. I am so incredibly proud of you and all you have accomplished so far. But more important, you are a kind, authentic, genuine young lady with a heart of gold and a love for your Savior. That is what makes me glow with joy.
Right now, my mind races with all the we were justs. Knowing I can’t get any of them back. I feel like we were just bringing you home from the hospital in your car seat that would eventually throw my back out. We were just watching you dance around the room with those blonde curls bouncing as you showed us some ballet moves. We were just walking beside you as you rode on a horse for the first of many times…and watched as bundles of nerves when you started jumping. How precious these are to me in this moment.
Like the song I sang in church for graduation Sunday says:
Won’t you stay here a minute more
I know you want to walk through the door
But it’s all too fast
Let’s make it last a little while
I pointed to the sky and now you wanna fly
I am your biggest fan
Hope you know I am
But do you think you can somehow
To My Daughter on Her 18th Birthday
My sweet girl, you’re about to turn 18. You have graduated high school. Tomorrow you leave us so you can be a camp counselor for the summer. My last summer with you before college. Everyone says you have 18 summers, but don’t count on that one. (We hardly have a solid week to spend together as a family. Which you know drives me insane because of my love for traveling.)
I can’t be upset though because it means you are going where your heart leads you, and you are ready for that independence. But I CAN grieve not having you around to watch our Netflix shows (thanks for getting me hooked on Jane the Virgin after my binge of Hart of Dixie ran out), to go shopping with, or simply to talk to.
I think what’s unsettling me is that THIS is the new normal: you being away instead of here. So this either means 1) I’m already mourning you going to college now and the actual move in won’t be as challenging, or 2) I’m going to be a trainwreck on August 28. (Mark your calendar now-I’m thinking it will be Door #2).
Remember when you used to mimic that Huggies commercial with the line: “I’m a Big Kid Now!” Well, you sure are all grown up now. And I couldn’t be prouder.
Every phase of your life has has both challenges and immense blessings. What I wouldn’t give to go back in time for a day and relive some of those moments. You spoiled me right out of the gate as a first-time mom, you were such an absolute joy. And that hasn’t changed in the 6,570 days I’ve had with you.
Taylor, get out there and make all your goals a reality. Move mountains. Travel the world. (Yeah, you knew I’d say that one.) And always remember you have a safe place to land back home anytime.
We love you more,
I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends
Friends, I will need checking on and prayers because this is heavier than I ever expected. I braved graduation without too many tears because I focused on what lies in store instead of looking backwards; trying to hang on to the nexts instead of the lasts. But I was unprepared for her absence this summer to devastate me like it is.
For those of you who’ve been here, please give me some pointers. What helps fill this void? Granted, it’s not like she’s traveling thousands of miles away. She WILL be able to come home on her birthday and a few weekends. But it’s still a dramatic shift in our family dynamic. So I’m open to any advice I can get. Thank you for reading and thank you for being my friend!