Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Welcome To Adulthood

Today is June 9, 2010. How did that happen? Only a few days ago it was December 23rd . . .1992 and I was giving birth to my youngest daughter. And now, somehow she is five days beyond her high school graduation. My baby graduated as a co-valedictorian of her high school class. She looked so grown up and confident when she was standing in the middle of the huge college coliseum addressing her classmates and their families. Again I ask, how did this happen? It was just yesterday that I was changing her diapers and grinding sweet potatoes into baby food mush and taking away from her the dog’s rawhide bone that she thought was great for teething, and . . . I need to stop this. Judge for yourself.

Here is her message to the 2010 graduates of Ryan High School.

Needless to say, I am pretty proud of her.

So here I am. I have successfully raised two National Merit Scholars, two AP scholars, a salutatorian, a valedictorian, basically two amazing girls – if you ignore their housekeeping skills. There is still time for them to acquire those, I hope.

No more diapers. No more waking up in the middle of the night to the sounds of a crying child. No more helping with homework. No more packing lunches. No more finding the Tupperware container from Tuesday’s lunch in someone’s room on Friday morning when I change the sheets on their bed. No more running to Walgreens at 1 am for poster board for the project that is due in eight hours and has not yet been started. In all of this there is both joy and sorrow . . .for me and for Offspring No. 2.

Because she cares about me and my emotional well being and didn’t want me to be thrust into the role of being a parent of two grown up children too soon, my baby and I shared a moment of nostalgia the other night.

About 5 am I awoke from a dead sleep to the sounds of a crying child. I discovered that no matter how old they are or how old you are, the maternal instinct that kicks in when your baby cries never goes away . . .thank goodness. My confident, mature, almost out of the nest baby was wandering around in the hall crying uncontrollably. After calming her down a little bit, I finally got her to tell me what the problem was. Her tooth hurt. (I have to admit it is much nicer to deal with a middle of the night crying child when they have the words to tell you what is wrong.) After several failed attempts to ease her pain with traditional remedies, we turned to “better living through chemistry.” She finally went back to sleep and I called the dentist as soon as the office opened that morning.

As it turns out, she has an abscessed tooth and will have a root canal in the morning.

Happy graduation! Welcome to adulthood!

And the “What I did on my summer vacation essay” would have been so great – especially if it was written from her Vicadin induced state of the last two days!