Eighteen Candles

Today my oldest child turns 18.  This is a day that I've both dreaded and anticipated since the day we brought her home.  Obviously, I had an incredible amount of mommy hormones flowing through me, but I still remember lying with her on the bed listening to lullabies and tears starting to flow.  Three days already gone!  How could time already be moving so fast?  I can remember thinking, we only have 18 years with her.  That's not nearly enough time and how will I ever let go.

The years have indeed passed and I've continued to marvel at each stage.  What a gift God has given me to raise my daughter and see her move from baby, to girl, to now young woman.  There have been many days where mothering hasn't felt so magical, but my overall feeling when I look back is always one of awe and gratitude, full of an incredible love for her.

This is a big year for her, and for us.  She'll graduate from high school and begin the college adventure.  She will not live in our house full-time anymore and she'll have more parts of her life that are separate from us.  Now that the time is approaching, I view it with both excitement and trepidation.  I'm excited to see how her future will evolve and all that she'll become, while also wanting to hold onto the daughter I know today, right this minute.

Eighteen years.  It's a milestone for both the child and the parents.  It's a chance to reflect on all that goes into the parenting journey, all the hard work, sleepless nights, sacrifices, and sheer determination. It's also a chance to celebrate all the wonderful memories and moments that make life worthwhile, all the ways that having a child enriches your life and completes you in ways you never could have imagined.

Happy Birthday, my sweet girl!  You are a treasure and a blessing in our lives!

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