My second daughter turns eighteen today. What are all the realizations that a parent has when this happens? Disbelief? Where did the years go? How did I get so old? How could my little pumpkin suddenly be an adult? All of these realizations and much more are what I’m dealing with tonight – mixed with a few tears – knowing that in a few short months she’ll be off to college and no longer living at home with us. (Okay, I’m tearing up a little bit right now as I write this. I’m that way. I’m a sentimental kind of guy, and it’s how I try to write my stories too.)
I remember in the late 90s we were in the house of some friends who had, at that time, three teens. We had two children at the time age 5 and a new born. I still remember what my friends said that night – time goes so fast – the teenage years are the best – but they are gone in a second – enjoy every moment. At that point, some days I couldn’t wait for the teen years to arrive fast enough.
Well, they did, and now that newborn is 18 and ready to see what the world has to offer. I’m not sure that I’m ready to see what the world has to offer without her at home, but that’s the lot of a parent – love, prepare, teach, learn, and kiss them goodbye.
It’s been so fun having her int he same school where I teach. What a privilege, actually. She has all the same interests as myself. She played on the softball team for four years. The team that I coach. She loves theatre, and has been part of my drama group – The RLT Players – all four years of its existence. She auditioned and got one of the lead roles in the musical I’m producing this semester. She’s a talented actress who has grown SO much over these past four years.
I’m so proud of her. So on this 18th birthday of hers, I’m happy to wish her all the best and all my love as she gets ready to experience all world has to offer.
Gracie, this post is for you! I love you.