Yesterday my oldest (or is it eldest?) daughter turned 15.
We are not talking about a fresh, newly branded teen girl anymore. She is no longer in that post pre-teen phase when she officially graduates from the "pre-teen" label and becomes a "teen" by definition -- but, at my house, is still not old enough for most PG-13 movies.
She now qualifies as a mid-teen, a young adult who is quickly becoming more adult than young. Oh, and let's not forget the driver's permit.
This is where my heart screams, "Time, slow down! Hit the brakes!" Let me explain.
Fifteen years ago, as new, doting parents to our first beautiful, most perfect daughter in the whole wide world, we were anxious for our brilliant offspring to reach all those milestones we read about in What to Expect...
The first smile, the first word, the first tummy-to-back flip, the first solid food. Of course child #1 gets these milestones faithfully written in her baby book. (Poor child #3.)
I could go on. Potty training, walking, reading, etc. etc. The excitement and wonder of watching our child grow coincided with relief when she seemed to reach them in all the age-appropriate time frames. Again, thank you What to Expect... (sarcasm here.) I guess my point is that I loved every phase of her development but I always looked forward to the next. My advice (which I took with child #2 and #3): Enjoy the moment. Don't worry about when the next "moment" will happen.
Fast forward to now. God willing, we have less than four more years until she flies from the nest. Gulp. Blink. Trying to keep the emotions at bay. Now my eldest (or is it oldest?) niece is off to college this fall. What? Wasn't I just IN college myself a few years ago? Yup, I know that her parents and even grandparents are thinking the same thing.
My heart is so happy to see all of my daughters growing up into young women. But couldn't time slow down just a little? I want to savor those "firsts" that keep coming despite their age. And believe me, I am heeding my advice and enjoying the moment.
Just don't expect me to write it in the baby book.