Main Entry: 1ba·by
Inflected Form(s): plural babies
Etymology: Middle English, from babe
Date: 14th century
1 a (1) : an extremely young child; especially : infant (2) : an extremely young animal b : the youngest of a group
2 a : one that is like a baby (as in behavior) b : something that is one's special responsibility, achievement, or interest
My baby is gone. It's official. She is a 16yo young woman.
As I sit here tonight pondering exactly what I am feeling as we push through all of these milestones in her life's journey I couldn't help but look back at what I wrote in THIS BLOG POST a few years back. I was just as emotional that night as I am this evening...however back then, words didn't escape me as they do now. I know that the drama that I have endured this week if part of what is leaving me without words. I am sitting here and cannot help but wonder if I am making the correct decisions in regards to my children's lives. There are times that I wonder if I am too lenient on them. I am a liberal parent, as most people know, and I do often wonder if the fact that I am is going to hinder them in any way as they grow. In my mind, the fact that I allow them experience life uncensored allows them to do just that, experience life. By giving them a lot of control over their own lives I think it has shaped their personality and the people that they are becoming.
I still can't help but doubt myself at times, especially now that my baby is grown. Have I showed her enough to keep her safe? Have I done my job as a parent well enough to enable to her to look back and make a good decision when faced with a tough situation? I hope that I have. I hope that despite all the teasing and joking around that we do that she has actually taken me seriously when we talk about serious issues. I guess all that we can hope for is our best....hope that we have done enough in the short time that we have their undivided attention to make an impression on them.
I still have no words for how I am really feeling though. I am sad...sad for the fact that my baby is gone....sad for the fact that I know that I have to contend with many other influences in her life right now....sad for the fact that the dangers out there have increased by 100% now that she is able to operate a motor vehicle. On the other hand....I am happy....happy for the fact that I have a wonderful relationship with her...and all of my children....happy for the fact that I am as involved in her life as I am....and happy for the fact that she is...well...happy. (most of the time anyway) I am also grateful.....grateful for the fact she is such an amazing young woman....grateful for the fact that she is my daughter....grateful for the fact that I have her in my life.
There are times that I wish I could stop time, this is one of them...actually more like a week ago, when I still had a 15 yo girl. I know that physically nothing much has changed over the course of the week, but this week has been a week of emotional growth and maturity on both of our parts I think. I have realized that no matter how much I doubt, I need to be confident in the fact that I did my job.
We have made it 16 years without incident and I cannot complain about the journey that she has taken me on, there have been a few bumps in the road but nothing so steep that we haven't been able to pull through. She truly is an amazing young woman, so thoughtful, so compassionate, so full of life!
Baby girl, I hope you know that I am proud of you and love you dearly. I hope that you continue on this journey just as you are now....taking life in your hands and LIVING it to the fullest! Keep on going and don't look back but know that I will be there to help you up if you fall, just as I have been these past 16 years. Life can be crazy, just remember to stay true yourself and to what you believe. If this is the only "lesson" that you take from me, I will have done my job. It really is the most important thing to remember. Nothing else matters! I love you more than you know.