We often say as parents "my baby is all grown up now".
But exactly when that moment will be, when it truly hits you and stops you in your tracks you never know and you have no idea what your emotions will be.
That was the case a few days ago for me.
As my blog friends know I have a 19 year old daughter. She hasn't been a baby for quite sometime now but regardless of "time" she will always be my baby.
Next week she will start her 2nd year in college, what?!!!
The other night we were talking as usual, a friend of mine was also over and we were all in deep conversation. I can't say for certain what word she said or what the topic even was but I just stopped and looked at her and my eyes began to water.
I said "Wow, you really are all grown up. I can't believe it. I really no longer have a baby." "I knew the time was coming and I have been noticing it for a while but it just really hit me and I am feeling really emotional right now."
She says "Yeah mami, I am going to be 20 years old soon but don't worry I am not going anywhere any time soon I will be around for a little while longer." Then we hug and I bite her cheeks, something I have done since she was born.
I turn and look at my friend and comment about how strange it is to see another "adult" next to you and realize it is your child. My friend said yeah it really is, I had the same emotions a few days ago when my son was visiting with me.
My "baby" as I knew her is officially gone and as I said its been coming for a while now but one thing that isn't gone is the bond that we have built.
The mutual respect, support and friendship we have cultivated and all the seeds that are still growing from all those talks in the car when I dropped her off at school, all the bedtime stories, all the bath time chats, all the "special topics" at the dinner table.
My job for the most part is done. Now I get to sit back and see my years of talks, rules, negotiations, smiles, tears, laughter, parent teacher meets, play date drop offs, birthday party plannings, Disney trips, proms and graduations (at least 1 more coming though) all come together in this 1 beautiful, strong, intelligent, kind, giving, brilliant, independent young women I call my daughter, Erica.
That watery eye moment was bittersweet, I got teary because I love my child as most parents do. I got emotional because at that moment I was so grateful to have for the most part been in the moment of just about every moment in my child's life.
I didn't allow work, career, bills, drama, stress or any other "life" events get in the way of my "time" with my Lil mama.
Nothing is more valuable than what you invest in your children. No amount of money buys the memories they carry with them throughout their own adult life.
I already see and reap the rewards of my investment. I already enjoy the riches of these past 19 years.
I can never stress and will never stop stressing enough just the priceless value of communication above all else with our children. Communication done properly will open all the doors to endless possibilities in your parenting journey. What is proper communication? Listening with open mind, remembering you were young once too, setting reasonable rules and goals, respecting your child as an individual. We don't own them, we guide them into becoming who they are meant to be.
The picture share are a taste of the sort of notes I have received over the years. One being a snap shot of a recent text message exchange Lil mama and I had.
Always stress free xo