To my darling Amazon, in honor of your birthday,
You are on a threshold, my love. You are at a time caught between childhood/adolescence and adulthood. It’s amazing that we all spend our early years longing for the freedom and independence being a grown up brings — mostly because we don’t understand how hard adulthood really is.
I remember turning 19 very clearly. I didn’t feel ready at all. I was afraid to leave my childhood behind, even though I had rarely felt safe or cared for in those years. Every fiber of my psyche was screaming for me to jump into the future and make my way in the big wide world. But the little girl inside cried softly in a small voice: “not yet” she said.
Where we differ is that you know and understand that this is exactly where you are. You know you are wrestling with these conflicting emotions and you accept this as part and parcel of this stage of life. Baby girl, you are so much more self-aware than I was at 19. You know who you are in ways I never could have nearly 30 years ago. I admire you so much.
You make me want to go back to 19-year-old Lisa and tell her all about you. I think we would’ve been friends.
But, as I’ve said so many times before, I’m your mom and that’s better than being your friend. Friends can come and go, but Mama never will. What we have is forever.
I want to tell you to enjoy this time of your life. With 26 years in the rear view mirror, I can honestly say that my college years were my most formative. Of course, I had a lot more growing to do than you.
That’s not to say you won’t grow. There’s room for growth in everyone. Take this time to explore and take risks. Don’t be afraid to fail. Grades are important, but so is learning what truly drives you. Pursue your passions and enjoy being relatively carefree. Be brave, my love, and be courageous.
This time, sadly, will not last.
19 is a prime number. It’s also prime time for transition and reflection in a young woman’s life. Swim with the tide and go where it leads you. You may just surprise yourself.
My beautiful baby girl, you are essentially a woman in all but name. You inhabit your body with such poise and confidence. You delight in the world of the mind and rejoice in the pleasures of hearty laughter. You aren’t ashamed to cry when you hurt or rage aloud when you’re pissed off. You are bigger than life in so many ways. I’ve never known anyone like you.
Keep being you in all your glory. Whatever you become and wherever you go, always know that you are loved and that your dad and I are here for you.
Everything will be fine is more than a cliché: it’s true.
Enjoy your life both today and in the many years to come.
I love you to the moon and back,
One thought on “Hey Nineteen”
Beautiful tribute to your daughter.