18 years. The kid, my baby, she of the wide grin and the long(ish) animated tales, is 18 years today. Her morning began much like the others with a kiss and a wave out the door, and today at least, raspberries for breakfast. Don’t we all need a hit of berry pink to start the daily grind? Birthdays demand extra colour flourishes around these parts.
18 candles is a tight fit. Never one to shy away from excess, this mother of newly minted adult is ready with the match.
One candle for a little white dog who will wait at the door.
Two for wake-up calls and evening turn-down service.
Three for an extra sock because the dryer always eats one.
Four for family four dinners sharing stories of the silliest or smartest person encountered that day.
Five for counting the seconds before you tell a secret*
Six for snacks and green stuff on toast and red lollipops.
Seven for luck. Let’s say we make our own.
Nine for chin-ups and warm boots.
Ten for counting the seconds before you turn up the volume.
Eleven for funny. Find it in the mud too.
Twelve for drawing big circles when it doesn’t matter and small ones when it does.
Thirteen for tipping your hat to the long line that came before you.
Fourteen for campfires and loon calls and s’mores and no cell service.
Fifteen for waiting until the last whistle before you stop. And still we rally.
Sixteen for the song of sisters.** May you always know the words by heart
Seventeen for spotting the space just for you. It’s there. I know it.
Eighteen for Mom and Dad hugs for a lifetime of booboos and bonanza breakthroughs.
At her graduation* last month, an epic blunder was made. I forgot to write WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU in the sky.
Love is too small a word.