Growing Up

 ‘It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.  E.E. Cummings

 Today is our baby girl’s birthday. When I gave birth to her 23 years ago, I presumed that the first few years of the palette of her childhood were mine to fill- full of as many frilly dresses and ringlets as I could create. It turns out that the paintbrush that would define who she was, was never really mine- even in those first few years.  Any joy I may have gotten from things like parting her long blonde locks down the middle and pulling her hair into neat pig tails was short lived.  Before she was done with kindergarten among other things, she had completely taken over doing her own hair, pig tails and all.

She is still the same determined and independent child that she was back then. Case in point, even though the ink on the diploma she received exactly five days ago is not even dry yet, today she and I will spend a few hours together polishing up her graduate school application. Her plan is to turn it in by next week.

Who she is never stops amazing me- strong, bold, brutally honest, and fiercely devoted to those she loves. I have never been able to coerce her into making the choices that I want her to, but I learned early that I could trust her to choose well for herself, and she has never disappointed me.

Her willfulness is something I could have fought against, but instead I chose to see it as a strength- because  I deeply believe that as E.E. Cummings tells us in today’s quote, it takes courage to grow up and become who we really are.

Kudos to our beautiful girl – the one who did her own pigtails, always stood her ground, and has the courage to grow up and become who she really is. We could not love you more…