Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Trauma of Turning 18

It's official. My eldest child is now 18 -- an adult.
This is how fast it has gone: One minute she is a two week old with colic, crying and crying, inconsolable - the next she is a 5-foot, 10-inch young woman slicing through the water like an arrow, bobbing up with a smile.
She's been in tears for nearly a week now imagining the horror of this birthday and the responsibility of becoming an adult.
To her turning 18 means she has ended that blissful state of childhood. And I have to admit, Grace has taken advantage of childhood. She has squeezed every drop of imaginary play and kicking tantrum that she can from childhood. Even without the birthday numbers though, she became responsible and inched her way into adulthood before 18.
"I can be arrested now!" she bemoaned.
"Don't do anything illegal," Tucker advised.
"If I hit Tucker, it's illegal instead of just a brother and sister fighting," she cried.
Tucker and I listed all of the benefits of being 18. She can get a tattoo. She can get piercings. She could gauge her ears.
Of course, we're cracking up at the thought because Grace hates pain -- hates it and would never do any of those things.
"You can sign yourself out of school," I suggested. That one quieted her down a bit.
"Will they still call you?" she asked.
Having one child reach adulthood doesn't feel like the relief I might have imagined. It doesn't seem like the burden has left my shoulders. I haven't brushed off my hands and said, "That one finished."
I can't protect her forever, but I have brought her to this place, to this adult line and helped her cross over fairly intact. Now I'll have to watch while she inches forward trying to decide if she wants to try her wings.
Are you sure this is the same kid? Grace in the Luxembourg Gardens at 14 and then at 17 in her senior picture


Noreen said...

Happy birthday Grace!

You've come a long way since the days of being a "pinkie" at Balletmet.

Don't worry about being a grown-up, just be yourself and you'll do fine.

MacKenzie said...

Hey Grace!
Happy 18th birthday! I hope you had an awsome day!
A former fellow "pinkie"

Linda said...

Wait until she gets married and then has children. I still can't believe it.

News Terkini said...

wow you are beautifull, may i introduce my self to you?

BFF said...

Mine turned 17 a few days later and now believes I am useless. I miss my sunny 16yr old

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