16 Things for 16 Years
My oldest daughter turned 16 recently. 16! I will never forget the day we brought her home from the hospital. The nurse called to check in on me, and she promised me that it would go fast, but not too fast. She lied. Time went waaaaay too fast. It feels like yesterday she took her first steps in our tiny duplex bedroom. It feels like yesterday she was a three-year-old tomboy in a tutu. It feels like yesterday we were snuggled up on the couch watching Cars for the 30th time. It feels like the days between kindergarten and 8th grade were actually minutes. It wasn't long ago that watched from the sidelines and she trotted on horses, painted masterpieces, and jumped gracefully off a diving board for the first time. It seems like moments ago, I kissed every boo-boo and wiped every tear. If you're a parent, you know how fast time flies. In fact, they say it flies when you're having fun, but I think it flies regardless. With a bittersweet ache in my heart, I've come up with 16 nuggets of wisdom that I've learned over the past 16 years. I wouldn't have believed them if you told me then. Like all parents, I had to live through it to learn it.
From birth plans to birthday parties, nothing will go as planned.
Parenthood is messy. The house, their room, the hair, the car... it will all be a mess.
Your child is watching you grow up, too. You are growing as fast as they are.
It's good to have a kid that doesn't want to fit in.
Be the parent you want to be. People will judge how you parent regardless of what you do.
Nothing lasts forever. The tantrums, the sleepless nights, the sticky fingers, the messy art projects, the squeaky giggles, the bedtime snuggles...
There will be a lot of unexpected things such as diagnoses, conversations, and hard truths. They are all gifts.
Your child will make you laugh harder than your best friend can.
The saying, "I am your parent, not your friend" should be thrown out the window.
You will feel it when your child's heart breaks. It hurts worse than your own heartbreak.
Your child will bring out, and sometimes call out your greatest weaknesses. Listen to them. They will be your greatest teacher.
Social media isn't the problem, but it can be.
It's ok to raise your child differently than how you were raised.
You will not always be right and it's ok to apologize to your child.
If you want a relationship with your child, you can't be a dictator.
Every little thing is going to be ok.
Cheers to 16. Cheers to beautiful her.