My Baby is 17
July 16, 2012 § 2 Comments
On Thursday, my youngest turned 17. We were so busy with renovating the fireplace room and preparing for our trip to Niagara Falls that I didn’t get much chance to ponder the whole thing. Now that I’ve had some time to reflect on the fact that almost two decades have passed since I gave birth to her, I’m finding that I’m handling it quite uncharacteristically.
When she turned 16 last year I was all wrapped up in the Sweet Sixteen concept and lamenting the loss of my “little girl”. I was happy for her; her expanding horizons, her more adult experiences, her new relationships but still, I was also a little sad for me. Of course I didn’t tell her that but nonetheless the feeling was there and it lingered for a week or so.
This year however, I can truly say that I am happy for both of us and maybe even more so for me. Our dynamic has changed, yes her independence frightens me a little (what, she can drive now?) and I’ve been demoted from primary influence to a mere casual advisor. These things were also all true last year but they felt much different…scarier almost.
This year though, instead of lamenting these changes, I find myself actually relieved by them. I’m not quite at Hubby’s “let us rejoice” level of appreciation but I’m also not stuck in the trenches of “where did my babies go?” wallowing either. I know exactly where they went, I was there. And if my memory ever fails me, I have upteen photo albums to help jog it.
Nope, I’m not the least bit sad this time around. I’m grateful that she’s a happy, healthy teenager. I’m pleased that she still occasionally confides in me and we have a decent relationship. Mostly, mostly though, I am excited to explore the freedom that her independence affords me.
Me time has taken on a whole new meaning and I’m pretty pleased about it. Perspective, it’s a funny thing. 😀