I have a lot of roles to play in my life. Writer, facilitator, trainer, daughter, sister, friend, wife. One of my favorite roles is being a mother. I have two of the most amazing daughters ever born (and I say that with absolutely NO bias :)
Today marks a shift in my responsibilities as a mom, because my younger daughter turns 20. She has left her teenage years behind, which means I am parenting teens no more.
Both girls are twenty-something now. Will they need me less? Of course. They're adults, making their own way, discovering what life has to offer them.
Yet I can't help but take this chance to say how proud I am of my birthday girl. She has way more friends (of every size, shape, color, age, and creed) than I ever had. There is a higher purpose for her life, toward which she strides with grace and intelligence. She reaches out to the world around her with tolerance and curiosity. She belongs.
It is difficult in the modern era to raise kids. There are so many choices, temptations, obstacles, and dangers. Hubs and I were committed to being the best parents we could be. Each of our little girls arrived with a unique set of qualities. It was our job to celebrate their strengths, minimize their weaknesses--and otherwise, get out of the way.
I cannot begin to describe how thrilling it has been to see Baby Girl launch from the nest and soar. She is nothing like we imagined, and everything we could have hoped for. Happy birthday, sweetheart!
I'll close with a quote from Anita Diamante in The Red Tent. I couldn't have said it better.
“Just as there is no warning for childbirth, there is no preparation for the [first] sight of a ... child.
There should be a song for women to sing at this moment, or a prayer to
recite. But perhaps there is none because there are no words strong
enough to name the moment.”