Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Love Letter to my 18 Year Old Daughter
Today is my daughter's 18th birthday. It seems like only yesterday, she was my baby monkey and now she's a woman, with a boyfriend and graduating High School in 6 months. Staying out all night having fun with her friends and me being a mother that isn't worried because I KNOW her friends.
She's my only one. We never got around to others. I guess when you have perfection, you don't need to try again. Besides the teen attitude, she has always been a great kid. She is talented, loving, loyal and good. Yes, good. A rare commodity in this day and age. She's better than me. She admonishes me when I swear. She calls me out when I get judgy. When I get down on myself, she's my cheerleader. Yes there are times when I'm "annoying" and embarrass her, but that's my job right?
I try to give her everything she needs. She has had many adventures that I could only dream of when I was her age. Her life growing up is VERY different from me and my husband's childhoods. She has good values which I guess she learned from us. It breaks my heart that I can't shower her with riches because we are on empty in that department. I think of her future and hope that she has learned enough from us to keep her on the right path. We had a meager Christmas and when asked what she would like for Christmas, she said we had given her enough through the year and she was fine. Of course we were going to get her things, but not huge things that we had in the past. The same goes for her birthday, tokens of our love, but nothing extravagant. Oh how I wish I could do extravagant!
There is not a day when I don't question my parenting skills. I am not going to cop out like my family did and blame it on the fact that "They didn't know how to parent because their parents were bad". My parents were bad. My dad because he's a jerk and my mom because she was scared. My sister and I overcompensate with our kids because we want them to have everything we never did. Thank goodness they are not spoiled! We agree that everyday we learn and that we want to shelter them from the big, bad world, but sadly unless we lock them up and throw away the key, we cannot. And we have to let them go.
My hubby and I always joke with our girl that when she hits 18, we will have her suitcase on the doorstep, ready for her to move out. Secretly, I never want her out of my life. She insists she doesn't want to live with us till she's 30, but I'd be fine with that. When the time comes when she does leave my nest, I'll have to do everything in my power to fill in the hole in my heart that will appear because she is pretty much my life.
So Happy Birthday to my beautiful baby girl. I wish you all the good things in life because you truly deserve them! You are the love of my life forever and always.