Well, our last child has crossed the threshold from child to adult, at least according to our culture. 18 years ago it was a sunny day in a birth center in Riverside. Our youngest was born, laid on my chest and was the cutest little newborn I had ever seen.
With my oldest my first impression was probably something like, “oh my gosh–a real baby!” I was 22 at the time. With my middlest, my first impression was of a beautiful, large, mature-looking baby–there was something wonderfully specific in his facial features and behavior. Funny how he has always been old beyond his years and known his own mind.
And with my youngest I verbalized my impression when I got my first glimpse of him: “oh my gosh, he is so cute!” And honestly, cute he remained.
He turned 18 on Sunday and we’ve celebrated in a variety of ways….a lunch out with an older brother, a family dinner, family phone calls, family gifts, a family roadtrip (plus good buddy Jason) to see a major league baseball game and visit a water park.
But I was just reflecting that maybe it is Scott and me who should party down a little bit, having reached this milestone. I think I will have a glass of wine in honor of that! I really enjoy these launching years. Teenagers in the late teen years are learning the ropes at a very fast pace. Having a ringside seat now for the third time, I still marvel the pace of maturation at this stage–it is amazing. What you see now is not what you’ll see in six months–the growth of perspective is astonishing.
Yet, while we take a moment to draw a breath and toast one another for this milestone and what it means, still from past experience we know there is much parenting ahead of us through the ups and downs of college and adult life decisions.