18 Going On…

18 Going OnDear Daughter,

You were born eighteen years ago July 1st, the day we picked because 1) I had to have a C-section due to issues and 2) my doctor was going on vacation and I was pretty attached to that doctor since I’d met him when I was 18.  That was the moment I became the mother of something pink…a precious little girl who came out without a sound but looking around curiously at the world she had entered.  How blessed I felt to have a daughter, an answer to prayer, my heart’s desire.  

I have no idea where the years went but moments, huge in their impact, rise up like the waves of the ocean and crash into my heart’s mind, leaving beauty like shells and sea glass, sometimes bits of seaweed, shaping and revealing the incredible young woman that you are.

Remember the pretty pink flowery and kitten wallpaper boarder that I put up in your room because I was so proud to have a little girl and wanted as many frills and fluffs and foo-foo girly stuff as I could get my hands on?  I bathed your room in pink, dressed you in pink, surrounded you with pink until the day you told me, “I hate pink.”   Truth be told, by then I did, too.  Neither one of us have ever been pink fanatics.  Still, it was one of those I-am-a-mommy-with-a-baby-girl rituals and I’m glad I embraced it.  The moment you told me you didn’t like it, the pink went away. You’ve chosen your wall  and room colors ever since and we have had loads of fun redecorating through the years to make your room yours.  We’ve had blues and greens and shades of purples, but never pink – except for that one comforter that you insisted was your favorite no matter the room colors.  It was the last of the pink when you were put into a big girl twin bed.

My precious girl, eighteen is like that.  You enter it with a perception of who you are, what you want, what you believe and value, who and what is important in your life, for your happiness, and to meet your future goals.  As your year progresses, your earlier perceptions will change with circumstances and you have to work through them to find all those things that make you who you are at every turn.  Do you remember picking your wall color?  You looked at all the paint chips until you found the exact ones you wanted and though it seemed a little bright or dark to adult eyes, that was the color your walls were painted.  Some parents would have tried to sway you or chosen the colors for you – after all, you were just a little girl.  But your parents wanted you to learn something even from that young age – that you matter.  That what you say and think and feel and believe and do and choose matters.  It matters on a much more impacting level at eighteen.  Yucky wall colors, of which you had none, can be repainted.  Life choices, of which you will have many, come with consequences, some positive, some negative, all impacting on some scale.  

Five things to remember:

1.  Not one thing in this world can stop me, or your dad, or your brothers, from loving you. There is no condition whatsoever on that.  I love you forever and through anything – period.

2.  Everyone who has lived has made mistakes.  How we manage the consequences shapes who we are and who we become.  “I’m sorry” is one of the sweetest phrases.  Learning from a mistake, growing, backing it up with positive action and resolution, making a better choice – priceless.

3.  Your past, your history, your memories, your childhood, your family, your joys, your hurts, your grades, your many dead rodents, all those things that are a part of the person you are will continue to be part of the person you are; you have a choice, however, in what you choose to allow to define who you are and will become going forward.  Don’t carry burdens beyond your control – they aren’t yours to hold unless you choose to.

4.  There is a “Boaz” for you.  At the right time, in the right place, during the right circumstances, and for the right reasons.  And he will never ask you to change, never ask you to conform, never ask you to be other than who you are, and though he will see every flaw you have because we all have them, he will adore you and love you and be thankful every day that God put you, the woman specially created to be his wife, in his life. Hold out for that one.  I promise you, he is out there.

5.  Always turn to the Lord.  Every day is indeed a gift and we can thank God for it.  Yes, things go wrong and bad and horrible and I’m the worst person ever at times because things can really stink and be unfair and unjust and frustrating and overwhelming and hurt so bad the next breath seems useless.  It’s at those times that I have to literally tick off a list of things I am thankful for because I can’t even pray.  My children are always at the top of my list.  Remember my writing on the mirror?  My go-to-when-I-can’t-think-what-to-pray-for list. I may even scream at the top of my lungs “Jesus, Jesus” because there is nothing, really nothing, at some times that I can think of except to just call His name.  My comfort is knowing He knows and He hears and is with me, and somehow I get through the next breath.  I know you know this – so do it and never forget it.

My HD, you are an amazing young woman and I am so very, very proud of you.  Happy 18th Birthday.  I am thankful to the Lord for the privilege and pleasure of being your mother.  You are, as ever, my Heart’s Desire.  With all my love, Mom