Thoughts On Turning 18

Today my youngest daughter turned 18.  Yes, she was born on April Fools Day, and yes it was my “due” date too – so no fooling me when she finally decided it was time.

This got me looking at baby photos, and that got me thinking about how the love I had for both my daughters when they were little feels totally different from the love that I have for them now.  It’s almost like they are completely different daughters, and in a way I guess they are.  Then I could not imagine how they would grow, who they would be when they reached adulthood, and now I cannot get my head around the fact that they started out so small.

Don’t mistake me – I love them both, fiercely, intensely, proudly, and without limitations, at whatever age they are – I just can’t seem to make the two, memories and current reality, connect as one whole people in my mind.

It’s weird!

I never had a “picture” of who my girls would be when they grew up, I was just content to go through the days with them, being the best parent I could be (and there were some days when I know that I fell short of that goal).  Like all parents I hoped that they would grow up happy, safe, know that they were loved, and able to love in return, without too much sadness in their lives.  Although there have been sad times, the illness and death of their father at a young age, and a few other small hiccups, we have come through with a strong bond, the ability to be silly and laugh and an unending store of hugs and love.

Still, there is a small part of me that wishes those earlier daughters could still be as they were, and mourns their loss.  The rest of me rejoices in the chance to share my life with my daughters now.

There are times I despair of ever understanding how my emotions work.

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15 thoughts on “Thoughts On Turning 18

  1. kazg10 01/04/2015 / 9:02 pm

    Im not a mother Claudette but I understand how you feel in a way, they are so different from their beginning to how they are now, you are right and its hard to compare… how beautifully written though from your heart, the best poem of all 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Claudette 02/04/2015 / 6:50 am

      Thank you Karen. It is such a hard feeling to describe, and I’m still not sure that I articulated it very well, so I really appreciate your kind comment.

      Like

  2. julitownsend 01/04/2015 / 9:21 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever thought about this, but agree with you. My children were so adorable as babies, and I also had no idea of what they would be like as grown ups. I just hoped to live long enough to watch them grow and mature, and I did. I feel truly blessed to have my two daughters – they are different, unique in their own ways, but share a general kindness towards others, and amazing creativity. I love them enormously. Tomorrow, I get to spend the day with them on a secret surprise fun day they’ve created for my birthday present. It’s very exciting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Claudette 02/04/2015 / 6:53 am

      That sounds like a great birthday present Juli. Any day I get to spend with both of my daughters is fabulous. My eldest moved out about a year ago, to start her own adult life with her man, and I still miss not seeing her every day.
      I hope you have a fabulous birthday.

      Liked by 1 person

      • julitownsend 28/04/2015 / 2:03 pm

        Thanks, Claudette. We had a lovely day, visiting a local national park, a picnic on the beach, and then a few hours chatting in the warm waters of the Peninsular Hot Springs. I blogged about my Super Secret Event that my daughters created for me last year: I blogged about my Super Secret Event that my daughters created for me last year. It’s here:https://julitownsend.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/a-superb-secret-event/

        I don’t think we appreciate the pleasure of having them live with us until we suddenly realise they’ve gone and that time is over.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Claudette 28/04/2015 / 6:24 pm

          I know what you mean, my oldest left last year, and I miss that sense of “us”. Her word grows larger and mine smaller.
          I had read that post before, I thought it was a great idea then, and still do.

          Like

  3. Marigold 02/04/2015 / 12:57 pm

    Happy birthday to your daughter! And I get what you’re trying to say. After all, people change – we are very different as adults than we were as kids. I’m much more practically minded as an adult than when I was a kid, and while I might think that not being as much of a dreamer means I’m not so positive in some of my views, being realistic has its own benefits. Mourn the loss of one aspect, and embrace the change and evolution into another!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Claudette 02/04/2015 / 6:33 pm

      Thanks Marigold. Love your last sentence, it is what I try and do. That has just made me think of the 3 aspects of woman, perhaps there should be 3 aspects of childhood also.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. macmsue 02/04/2015 / 10:03 pm

    I had a little chuckle when I read the first part of your post. I was in hospital before she was born and as April 1st was looming closer I decided if they decided to induce me it wouldn’t be on that day, she came on March 28th. I remember the pain of my love for that tiny scrap of humanity, 40 years later the love and concern has morphed into something different but she’ll always be my baby.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Claudette 04/04/2015 / 9:38 am

      It is funny how they always stay a “baby” no matter how old they are.
      I had 2 false alarms before she was born, so my hubby was, understandably, a little unsure as to whether I was having a joke with him. However, he soon realised I was not and we only were at the hospital 30 minutes before she was born.

      Like

      • macmsue 04/04/2015 / 3:43 pm

        LUCKY you! I was in the hospital for 10 days before my daughter was born, not because of any issues just that we lived in a village about an hour or so away and it was policy to go in on your due date.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Claudette 04/04/2015 / 5:12 pm

          I actually lived an hours drive away. With my first I drove myself to the hospital as my hubby was already in town working. Luckily second time he was home because I was having full blown contractions all the way. 🙂 Also luckily for me, both my births were very quick

          Like

  5. macmsue 02/04/2015 / 10:04 pm

    Whoops, I goofed there, should have said ” in hospital before my daughter was born.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. hya21 04/04/2015 / 7:58 am

    Lovely sentiments. My kids are not nearly as old as yours and I’m already missing who they used to be. The innocence fades more quickly these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Claudette 04/04/2015 / 9:44 am

      I find it strange to miss them when they are still here, but the essence of who they were then has changed (and the ability to sit them on my lap) so it feels as if I have lost something. However, I have gained something as well, so I guess it evens out and I am grateful that I have the opportunity to have both those parts in my life.

      Liked by 1 person

Happiness is kind words from a friend .....

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