An 18th Birthday

My not so little baby girl was born eighteen years ago today. Abigail Elizabeth weighed in at 9 pounds 14 ounces, and she was in such a hurry to make her grand entrance that she refused to heed the nurse’s command to wait for the doctor. I told the nurse that it was time to push. The nurse said that I was wrong and NOT to push. Telling a woman not to push at that stage of labour is like trying to stop a train with your bare hands…it just doesn’t work! Abby arrived before the doctor, and she came so quickly that she came out with a perfectly shaped head rather than the typical newborn conehead. And we loved her.

Abigail means fountain of joy, and she certainly lives up to her name. Not once have we ever butted heads in the way that some mothers and teenaged daughters do, and I am ever so thankful to have made it through each of my children’s teenaged years unscathed. I’ve heard the horror stories of teen girls and the horrible relationship that they’ve had with their mothers, but that is not our story. I am sure that I’ve made many mistakes as a parent. I am sure that I will make many more in the years to come, but I am proud of the young woman that my daughter is becoming…despite my flaws.

When Abby goes shopping for clothes, as much as it pains me to be the one shopping with her, I never need to worry that her choices will be inappropriate or outrageously expensive. Her fashion tastes are classy and simple and so uniquely Abby. She doesn’t spend hours doing her hair and make-up, although I think she probably does wear more make-up than I do. She wants to look good, but she is basically a low-maintenance kind of girl. Like her mother.

I could easily point out Abby’s flaws, like spending too much time in her room and taking forever to do a chore that she has been asked to do; however, there is much more to my daughter than her flaws. She is artistic beyond belief…just look at this sketch she did of me doing a squat!

angsquat

She is smart and gets good grades. She has a good head on her shoulders. She has the best group of girl-friends. She is compassionate and kind. She loves children and cats and pugs and pigs. Actually, she just said today that she loves pigs so much and she loves to eat them! She follows her passions, even when I don’t understand them. In fairness, I’m sure that she doesn’t always understand my passions either, but I appreciate that she comes out to support me when she can.

I love my daughter, and I am so proud of her! The truth is that I put off trying to write any sort of blog post about her birthday for as long as I could, because it was harder than I expected it to be. I sat down with notebook and pen yesterday to work on a draft and nearly cried into my coffee at Starbucks. Abby is my baby. The last. The youngest and today she is 18! I have never been the sort of parent who hates the passing of the years, because I have learned to enjoy each stage and age as it comes. I miss my baby girl, but I wouldn’t trade away the years to see a baby Abby again. This is a big year for my girl. She is now 18 and will be graduating in a few months. She’s applied to a few post-secondary institutions…okay, so maybe I’m not quite ready to think about that!

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