Tuesday, February 9, 2010

You've Grown Up on Me

Kidlet broke her promise. When she was at the height of cuteness and cuddliness laying in my lap, I made her promise to not grow up. She promised - but it was one she couldn’t keep. She grew higher than any woman in our family; grew through the eye infections and braces; sung, skated and competed through her girlhood, developing her physical strength and uncovering her strength within.

She embraced opportunities to travel and learn what the world had to teach. She had her mind and heart opened to new possibilities. She experienced outrage at injustice. When she was a child, I had a hard time trying to explain to her what an Indian Reservation was. She immediately wanted to write to the Prime Minister to let him know what was going on. I had to look into those chocolate pudding eyes and explain that the poor treatment of our First Nations peoples had been going on for a very long time and that assuredly, the Prime Minister was well aware of the situation.

Kidlet has never been “easy”. She was the kid at Moms and Tots swimming class squirming to get out of my arms to go it alone. I let her once and she sunk like a stone. She hung on a little longer after that. When we went to Parent and Kid skating, the minute she hit the ice she took off in search of a friend leaving me to skate laps on my own. I got to be a very good skater. She was not the child who came running with open arms when I went to pick her up after work. She would want to finish what she was involved in … secretly I used to wish that just once she would hesitate before letting go of my hand … cling for just a second.

But that is not Kidlet. She is a force unto herself; a whirling dervish of emotion, opinions and passion, boldly tromping wherever she pleases, blissfully unaware of barriers - with the expanse of her life in front of her.

And today, on her eighteen birthday I can see the little girl who still loves a hug and snuggle, who still needs an encouraging word from her parents. I see a young woman navigating the tricky path between childhood and adulthood, facing grown up choices, striving so hard to make her family proud. I see a young woman who is self reliant, capable and discovering her own power – the power to be just about anything and anybody she wants to.

Happy birthday Kidlet. You’ve grown up on me …

9 comments:

  1. And Happy Birthday to another free spirited Aquarian in the world.

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  2. Happy Birthday!! It must be bittersweet having kids grow up. She sounds amazing and I'm sure you have many more special years ahead of you. My relationship with my parents gets stronger every day, which always amazes me because we've always been close. No matter where I go or what I do, a piece of my heart always stays with my mom!

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  3. Happy Birthday indeed Kidlet :)

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  4. Happy Birthday Kidlet!! Great job mom :)
    cuz

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  5. Oh my heart, and my tears. What a gift of prose to both receive and give for a birthday. Happy birthday beautiful girl!

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  6. Beautifully said and I felt your tender heart string chords playing and stretching and hoping and wishing all along the way. This hit song has only just begun to play for your baby girl.
    MIH

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  7. Happy b-day from your mom's cube crawlin' neighbour. My kidlet is only 6.5 years old but wow did that go fast. many happy returns, cruisin susan

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  8. And happy birthday too Mama, I feel your every emotion. A lovely post in honor of your beautiful daughter.
    "oh the places you'll go" She's just begun...
    Happy 18th
    ♥ lori

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