As I’ve mentioned before, this is a new and challenging time for my daughter and me. She is in her senior year of high school, so we are exploring colleges and all that comes with that. I thought I had everything under control until I realized her 18th birthday is descending upon us. I use the word descending because to me, it shouldn’t happen. She’s not supposed to turn 18 and become an adult. It doesn’t really go with the lifelong Kindergartner I thought I would have. I mean, I gave in to the fact that she turned double digits. I allowed that, but enough is enough. I’m still shocked every time she walks out the door to drive somewhere. As much as I complained about driving her around to the million play dates and school functions as she littered my car with chips, crackers and a hidden sucker that I would eventually find stuck to the floor board, I want that back. While logically I know that’s impossible, emotionally I want time to stand still or merely go back 10 or so years.
I find myself pulling her hair out of her face a little more these days, asking her to spend a little more time with me, cooking that favorite dinner and when she leaves wishing she would turn around and walk back through the door. It’s selfish, I know. But 18? Have I taught her all she needs to know? Am I going to send her out into the world well armed with knowledge. Probably not. As I was explaining something to her several weeks ago she got flustered and said “Mom there’s so much I have to know when I grow up”. “That’s why I’m telling you all this now” I replied. Her brilliant response was “Can you put all this in a 3-ring binder because I’m afraid I’m going to forget”. Well, now why didn’t I think of that. A book about everything you need to know. If I could compile this, I would be rich. First chapter could be “Realize you know nothing” and go from there. Every 18 year old thinks they have it all figured out because they are the smartest person that ever walked the planet. I know this because at 18 I knew everything there was to know.
My daughter has requested a very adult celebration for her birthday of a sit down dinner in a “fancy” restaurant where we all have to dress up. I hate to disappoint her and tell her that once you are an adult this might be considered torture to some, but as a family we will go and celebrate this woman-child who is about to start her own journey. And then I will send her out in this world to start school, begin a job, fall in love, have her heart broken, meet a best friend, meet another best friend and pray I’ve given her decent guidance to navigate.