Thanksgiving_my_camera_2007_079My eldest turned 14 today.  It doesn’t seem possible that she is that old, yet I can barely remember my life before I was blessed with her.  She taught me how to be a mom, when I was scared to death that I would break her.  So far, I don’t think I have done any permanent damage….perhaps the jury is still out on that one!

Her friends threw a surprise birthday party for her this past Saturday. Her best friend from church (who goes to another school) recruited one of her best friends from school and they gathered her favorite people from both her “worlds.”  With some help from their moms, these two girls planned a really special party for my birthday girl. As instructed, I performed my one job; I delivered her there in time for her friends to jump out and yell surprise.  After I had documented the moment on video tape and reminded her who to thank for this wonderful event, it was clear that I was free to leave.  She was having a blast and barely noticed our departure…just as it should be.  Yet, it was bittersweet for me.  For the previous 13 birthdays, I was in charge of orchestrating the birthday celebration.  Now however, because of the precious young woman that she is, there are others in her life who want to celebrate her as well.  I guess it was just a reminder to me that she is truly developing a life of her own, separate from me.  Again, all as it should be, but still…

I look back at pictures of her from this time last year and the changes are dramatic.  Right in front of my eyes, she has truly turned into a young woman.  As others told me when I was just beginning this journey, “it goes by so fast.”  I wrote about her last year when she officially became a teenager…all the things I said about her then are still true today.  Last year, I reminisced about her first Christmas with us.  This year, on her birthday, I find myself looking into the future when she will be living her own life and we will be begging her to come home for Christmas.  I know, I know, we are still a long way from that.  Yet, I get glimpses of what she might be like as an adult and I start to miss her already.  Luckily, her baby sister promises that she will never move away from home 🙂

Tomorrow, her school gets out early, so we are going to have lunch and go Christmas shopping….just the two of us.  I pray that I can remember to cherish these moments….especially the next time she forgets her lunch 3 times in two days (it’s a long story!)