Yesterday, my beautiful daughter turned sixteen. So many years. So many smiles. Such a delightful part of my life, our lives, she has been. I have watched her grow into a stunning young woman. “You’re a swan,” I recently told her. And she is. Everywhere we go, people that knew her when she was younger stop and stare. “She’s soooo beautiful,” they will say, or, “She’s beauuuutiful…”. “Tell her, I said, nodding in my daughter’s direction, to one woman the other day. She doesn’t know how beautiful she is.
I want her to recognize that she is as pretty on the outside as she is on the inside. Hardworking, conscientious, diligent, caring, compassionate, sensitive… I want her to be a stronger young adult than I was, for her inner confidence to mirror the outward. What more could one want?
Now, my eyes tear up. I am so blessed.
“I cannot tell you how happy, how lucky I am, that the universe chose me to be your mother.” This I said to her once. Hopefully more than once. If not, hopefully she remembers.
Don’t get me wrong. There is angst, and worry, too. For despite all her virtues, she is only human. That is a good thing. One cannot exist, grow, mature, learn, without the tension that is beauty’s pole. “I don’t think I’ve really ever been that upset with her. Except when she let some boy suck on her neck!” I said during her family party yesterday. Laughter followed around the room. Even my daughter smiled the all-knowing grin.
“What do you mean? She won’t come out of her room. She’s locked herself up there for weeks now and won’t come down and join us,” my husband chimed in, mimicking my words of the past year or so. Laughter followed around the room, once again. My daughter smiled, too. We all know. The woes, the worry, of having teen children…of having children, period.
“You kids have two great parents,” I’ve said to them each, at one time or another. “You have parents who are doing a great job raising you, parents who love you, who care, who are consistent and are involved, who work together to create a balance in your life, to be fair. That said, we have great kids, for you have done your parts. You have taken what we’ve provided and used the knowledge and guidance in positive ways. Our parenting wouldn’t be successful if that didn’t happen.”
And now, this morning, I write this post from a hotel room in Gahanna, OH. You see, two milestones happened in my home, yesterday. Two biggies. My daughter turned sixteen. My son and I had to set out on the twenty-three hour trek to college…
Our family’s momentum moves on…