As I looked at Ben last night at midnight and wished him a Happy New Year, we talked about all the milestones that would happen in 2014. He turns 40 in September, I hit it in November, and I said "Our baby will be 18 this year". It sounded so shocking that I had to repeat it. THAT'S when the waterworks started and I couldn't do anything to stop them. I'm not talking the tears that you get when you watch a Folgers commercial. I'm talking full on, size-of-quarters tears. He looked at me with that familiar stare (90% love/protectiveness, 5% is she having a breakdown, and 5% this chick is nuts) and said "Why are you crying?". I responded in between gasps "I have no idea". It's just the reality that my day to day life will be ever changed when she hits that magic number. That's the age they are when they go away. That's the age where they gain their freedom and you lose some of the stronghold you've held for all those years. That's the age where they are responsible for their own decisions and you are 'off the hook'. But mostly, I'm afraid, that it's the age where she will no longer need me like she does now. It's A LOT of realization to smack a mom in the face, especially 3 hours after her bedtime and two glasses of wine. I know that she will be an awesome 18 year old and I pray that she always remembers that I am ALWAYS here, at 18 or 81, for she will ALWAYS be my baby. I am so proud of her and I can't wait to see the kind of awesome woman she becomes, but I am not ready for her to be an adult. I guess I have time…she has only been 17 for 12 days :) I love you Ali. Please go easy on me this year. Understand that I may try to revert to a time when you were tiny and relive the great times we had when you were a wee one. If I need to hold you and rock you like a baby, please let me. If I ask to feed you at dinner, let me. And do me favor, fake a nightmare and ask to sleep with me in the middle of the night. You already think I'm nuts, so I might as well give you plenty to discuss with your shrink when you're older.
This picture taken 2 weeks ago
This picture was taken yesterday
I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU!