“I can get adult status!” In high school, adult status means that you can check yourself out of school for appointments. My baby is turning 18 today. I sound like a cliche’ if I begin with the lamenting about this natural passage of time. She is entering into the next phase of her life. She has worked hard, been accepted to college, is going to Spain on a school trip this summer and consistently works at her job. She does her own laundry, makes her own lunches, pumps her own gas and generally appropriately manages herself, but the fact is I am going to miss having her around.
I look at this baby of mine and glimpses of her sweet self come back from her young years. Laughter, crying, antics. She had the roundest head and the chubbiest body as a baby. She had fine blonde baby curls and I gave her a palm tree ponytail hair-do which she laughs at today. She started as a shy sweet thing and developed into a risk-taking leader amongst her peers. Her demeanour is confident and wise. She leads by example and has many close friends. She is a good big cousin, calls her relatives to say thank you when she receives a card or present and generally cleans up after herself.
I love still making her lunch and cooking for her. I love taking care of her, but satisfied in knowing that she can take care of herself. I am proud of who she is and who she is becoming.
Yes, I will miss her, so I want to enjoy my time with her now. I made her lunch today. She has to go to work on her birthday and help wrangle little kids at the local YMCA.
My baby is 18. Bittersweet indeed.