Yesterday was my youngest daughter’s 16th birthday, and that got me thinking about my kids and how fast time has gone by (the old cliché). We had a quiet little pizza party for her and wish with all my heart we could have thrown a party she’d never forget but we just don’t have the money. We did what we could and she was surprised with her gifts. I did surprise her with a “Sweet 16” banner that I made and she said she really liked it. (My camera broke recently so can’t take a pic, but will try to scan a couple to post soon.) So anyway, my little girl is growing up. I remember her first day of school, just a few days after we moved into this house (which wasn’t completely done, and still isn’t after 11 years!) I hadn’t realized she should be starting school that year, with us building our house and trying to get it done after 9 months while living in my in-laws home with 3 kids! (and yes, I was ready for the nut house after those 9 months, believe me). She has always been almost painfully shy, and I was so worried about how she would do with riding the bus alone and being in a new setting. She was so tiny and only 4 yrs old (she wouldn’t turn 5 for another few weeks). So I frantically searched for daycare (she was used to daycare been there since she was about 6 mos. old) that could watch her before/after school and also meet her at the bus. I did all of this while working 2 hrs away still (yes, that’s a 4 hour commute daily). But we made it and I remember following the bus on that first day, having promised her I’d meet her at school. I remember choking up and her just walking into class like not a thing was wrong, waving to me through the door. There have been plenty of times when there were tears or nervous stomach aches, but she always knew she would just have to choke her way through it and get it done.
Flash forward to a bright, loving, beautiful 16 yr old who has that same attitude and there are still times when she has to stand in front of a class and choke back nervous tears, but I’m so proud of her that she knows she has to do it and gets it done. She is just starting her driving training online (boy how times have changed since I took my driver training), so no permit yet to drive, which means no big worries (for me) right now. She doesn’t seem to be in any hurry either. My son secretly told me that she said she’s “sort of afraid” and it’s “too much responsibility”. I’m not pushing her, But I’ve mentioned that it’s her right of passage of sorts, her ticket to freedom, and just something that need to get done.