A Birthday Milestone


Today I have a 20 year old. Wow! Crazy to type that. It does not feel like 20 years since we were first sleep deprived, confused, desperately wondering how in the world we were ever going to do this new parents. She's the oldest. That means she's the child we've expected the most of and made the most mistakes with, analyzing and microscoping every detail of her life. Each new stage had a big learning curve and we were forever second guessing our parenting decisions.

Turning twenty means we officially survived her teenage years! Please let's take a moment to fully appreciate this. The rolled eyes, the sarcastic remarks, the up and down emotions, the sulking, the unpredictable moods, the late nights of worry, the negotiations over curfew and when and where and who. The standing our ground and holding the line even when "everyone else is doing it" is pretty much behind us...with this one!

The first time I remember someone telling me that it would all go by so fast was when our daughter was just a few weeks old. At the time, I inwardly scoffed a little. Fast? I am completely overwhelmed and feel like I am doing nothing right. I can barely imagine making it through this afternoon and you're saying it all goes by so fast? But alas, she was right. The days sped up with each passing year. I watched her learn to walk and talk and then it seemed like she started kindergarten in the blink of an eye! I tried in vain to slow time down, but the elementary years made way for middle school and before I knew it, I was watching her graduate. Each new stage, skill, and experience added up and it's been a joy to see her grow into the young woman I'm so proud of today. 

I'm looking forward to the perks of parenting someone in their 20's. I hear these kids generally graduate from college, get jobs, and move out. I've had more than a few parents tell me it's a happy day when your child achieves this independence and is, of course, on their own car insurance! :) And then there are all the intangibles. The friendship, the laughter, the deep discussions, and all the fun you can have with your kids at this age. I count it a special privilege to be able to experience this!

Twenty years. Lots of birthday cakes and candles. I love you my girl! May all your wishes come true!







80 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday wishes to your eldest daughter - I hope she has a fabulous day. I have absolutely no idea how they grow up so fast!

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  2. What a lovely post, Marie! Happy birthday to your daughter - and I know exactly what you mean about how quickly the years of parenting go by. It was the topic of my blog post today as well!

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  3. Thank you for sharing this! I love the 'before' and 'after' pictures. The years didn't go by fast when all I had were babies and toddlers, but once they get in school the years speed up so fast. My oldest is in 6th grade now and I caught myself a few years back saying "Wow, a year really flies by like it's nothing!" Phillip answered that probably in the future we'll be saying that about decades...

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  4. Your daughter is such a beautiful young lady! Hope she had a very happy birthday. I don't know how the years go by so fast. My oldest will be 21 in a month and I truly can't believe it!

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