Our daughter is turning 18 this weekend. Eighteen.
I helped her vote last night. Her graduation tassel came today. This time next year, I will be trying to ignore the K-shaped hole in our home that will be left when she goes off to school.
I feel like I should be doing better; I’ve done this before. Her older brother is now a junior at university. I hardly ever see him. I still miss him terribly, but I survived, and no longer spend my days wondering what he’s doing.
I guess I was thinking this time wouldn’t be so hard.
K and I had a tough couple of years… too many arguments, too many days in which my attempts at conversation were met with monosyllables, sometimes even just grunts. For more than a year, she was locked behind a wall I just couldn’t penetrate, leaving her alone and depressed and me bewildered and resentful.
We got help, and about six months ago, I began getting back my girl. Now she makes me laugh daily. Her humor can be cutting and dry, and she can be wickedly sarcastic, blunt, and opinionated, but, well, she’s 18, and I love her to death.
Of course I’ve loved her all along—she is, after all, my baby girl—but as the days tick by bringing the inevitable leaving of the nest, I want to cling to the little girl she was, and this new young woman that she’s become. I just got her back from behind that wall, and I’m not ready for her to go. I want to be silly and laugh with her about the weird things she finds hysterically funny. I want to dance with her and hang out with her, just a little while longer.
I’m still not sure how it happened, but in the blink of an eye, my baby became 18.