Saturday, April 4, 2009

18 years old.

What do you do when your child turns 18? Do you keep acting the same? Do you still buy her food? Do you let her stay out all night? Do you badger her about keeping her room clean? Do you keep paying for her invisalign? Do you bug her about keeping those invisalign trays out of drinking glasses filled with baking soda and water? Do you lecture her about disposing of apple cores and apple stickers once the said apple is eaten? Do you continue to treat her as someone who isn't a legal adult? Do you keep asking her where she is going when she walks out the door with her purse and car keys?

I don't know the answers to most of these because she is my first:
My first to walk.
My first to go to Kindergarten.
My first to be a big sister.
My first to be baptized.
My first to turn 12.
My first to take driver's education.
My first to drive.
My first with whom I will not drive.
My first to go on a date.
My first to stay out past 11:30 pm.
My first to attend high school.
My first to get a job that requires her to drive to the job.
My first to go to prom.
My first to save more money than her mother ever could have saved in high school.
My first to go to Washington, D.C.
My first to be a free thinker (and a smart, intelligent free thinker at that).
My first to have Democratic views.
My first to dye her hair.
My first to soon graduate from high school.
My first to want to go on a senior trip without me.
My first to get accepted to an institute of higher learning.
My first to turn 18.

She is my first and I'm not too sure what to think of her turning 18 and into an adult. I'm sure she'll be a totally competent adult. But am I ready for that to happen? Am I old enough or mature enough to let her make her own decisions that are beyond my control? What do I do when she is at college and I don't know if she's eating right or if she's home at a decent hour or is she needs a little advice or if she's having friend problems or if she can't get that stubborn stain out.

She had a good birthday. She got luggage. What more could an 18 year old ask for? It's not that we want her to leave or anything, we just want the packing part to be stylish and sturdy and to hold up.

It's weird to have a child be so old. Wasn't she just born? Wasn't she just running upstairs in her diaper to get Tod Jenkins to come down and help her mom because mommy was having a kidney stone attack? Wasn't she just commenting on my "bristheses being more longer than hers" as I was nursing her younger sister in the hospital? Wasn't she just making up songs and singing almost every minute of the day? Wasn't she just telling me that she wished we lived in a trailer park? Wasn't she just modeling her Kindergarten clothes for Grandma? Wasn't she just learning how to ride a bike? Wasn't she just trying to get rid of the Hitler scab beneath her nose because she fell and scraped herself up? Wasn't she just scoring 7 points in her first soccer game?

Nope. Those things happened a long time ago and I need to realize that she has grown up. She is ready for the real world whether I like it or not. She will thrive in the college environment that awaits her next fall. She will continue to be an independent thinker and a smart one at that! She will be successful because of the work ethic she has and the independence she exhibits.

Happy Belated 18th birthday, Lyssie Lou.

yeah, even when you stick your tongue out for me.


Sweetest Of All said...

Man girl after all that, I'm about to cry. Where's a photo of this sweet new adulT!

tball said...

WOW has time gone by fast. Great that Lyss is now an adult... It doesn't seem that long ago though that she was a little cute baby that we'd come over and hold each week to get our baby fix! :) Now a beautiful woman...

Stephanie said...

What a beautiful girl...I mean adult! :) All your kids are just gorgeous (except your son who is HANDSOME!) I'm glad that I have a while until I have to deal with my kids' adulthood, though. :)

Aly G said...

Oh, Lyss I remember when you were just a pudgo little baby baby! You had whispy blond hair and now where has the time gone? You are a grown teenager, I mean adult! Soooo lucky to have a mom named Kris too! Can't wait for your college days to start! ( hopefully you won't be too cool for the fam):)