So I sit here on the eve of a huge birthday.  Not mine (already turned the big 4-0 this year and it wasn’t too bad) but my daughter’s 18 birthday!  I’m feeling somewhat traumatized.  Not that I don’t look old enough to have an 18 year (which I don’t think I do :-)) but that my daughter is growing up.  Technically tomorrow she becomes an adult.  But fortunately for me she still has her senior year of high school so I feel like she is still a kid.

But now back to the traumatization…. I didn’t think we would ever get to this point.  Realistically I knew we had to get here but it just goes so fast.  Time really does fly.  Feels like just yesterday I was watching her dance across the living room floor, twirling so hard she would fall down and now she gets up in front of huge crowds and expresses herself through dance so elegantly bringing tears to my eyes.  She is incredibly focused in everything she does from school to dance to what I hope she is when she drives, focused!  What can I say, I’m so proud.

Why do I feel traumatized/overwhelmed by these big events?  Is it because I am starting to feel old (not really, I only feel old right now because the gym and I are having lots of dates lately and he seems to be beating me up!)?  Is it because I know that in one more year our house will be empty?  Well that might be some of it!  I love my kid and want her always to be around even though that is unrealistic and I would probably go out of my mind if she lived with me forever!  Or she would go out of her mind if she lived with ME forever!

I am thinking the real answer might be in the fact that it marks a big transition.  I remember when I turned 18 (hey stop laughing, it wasn’t that long ago that I can’t remember some of it!) I remember the thoughts of freedom that went through my head.  I was excited now because I could make my own decisions and it was a great time.  As much as I want that for my daughter, I also still want her to want her mom’s opinion on things and to ask me what I think.  I hope this doesn’t change because she has one more day under her belt that shows she is older.

How are we supposed to handle these big transition times?  Well I want to say with grace and elegance but really we are not in the 50’s where we have to hide our true emotions.  I am currently handling these moments (which there promise to be quite a few this year with it being her senior year too) with lots of tears.  Some tears of sadness because I will miss her.  But tears of joy looking back over what we have accomplished together and what she has accomplished on her own.  Also lots of pride because really in the end, I created a pretty good kid/emerging adult!  Caring, loving, and kind hearted and overall someone I am proud of.

So tonight’s blog is dedicated to this child of mine who changed my life 18 years ago and continues to be an integral part of my daily life.  I would not have it any other way!  Happy 18th Birthday Mackenzie!