Our first-born child turned seventeen yesterday and I’m trying to adjust to the thought that in less than a year she will officially be an adult!
It is hard to let go of the child she once was, not to mention the integral part of our family that she is, but yesterday was a wake up call! This year, she chose to spend her birthday with her friends and boyfriend and gave celebrations with her family a wide berth. Don’t get me wrong; she made sure we had a small window of time to give her presents before she raced off for breakfast prior to school, then another small window of time for my parents to give her gifts before she went to have dinner with her boyfriend.
It is a tradition in our family to always have a family dinner out for everyone’s birthday, so it felt very weird to not even be dining with our daughter on her special day. To make matters worse, for her birthday next year she has already planned to be away on a holiday to celebrate the end of school. Her milestone eighteenth birthday will be spent away from family, which to be honest, breaks my heart. To think we have raised and nurtured her through her whole childhood, but are not even going to be present for her ‘coming of age’ really saddens me. I know she has to grow up and I have to allow the apron strings to be cut. It is just that as a small child her family was the center of her universe, but now her priorities have changed and I need to adjust my expectations otherwise I will be left resenting the fact that she is independently moving on with her life.
Part of me is proud of the young woman she has become, whilst another part mourns the child she was. It is hard to imagine your baby as an adult and I now have less than a year to come to terms with it!
(Picture courtesy of Marcolm, freedigitalphotos.net)