I told you earlier this week that I had changed my mind about letting you turn 20 today and that I planned to write a blog post about it. I wanted you (and the world) to know why I would let you do that.
Before that happens, though, I think we should reflect upon why I had thought you turning 20 would be a bad idea.
- The first time I saw you, I knew you would do this to me some day. By “this,” I mean that you would grow out of needing me in the same way that you did then. As each year passed, our relationship changed. That scared me because I had no experience with raising a child before you came along.
- I liked you the way you were at each stage. I want to freeze all of those ages in time and be able to go back and hug that little person at that stage. I also would not mind doing a few things differently now that I know what I know now.
- Being a mom for the past twenty years has been the best thing I have done. If you are an adult, that changes my responsibilities. I am not sure that I want to learn new things. I am just getting the old ones down.
Earlier this week, I decided I could let you turn 20. In fact, I felt compelled to let you turn 20.
The world is a scary place right now. There is so much wrong in it. As your parent, it is kind of scary to consider what you will face in your adult life. However, the world does not get better without having better people in it.
I am going to let you turn 20 because I think the world needs more adults like you. Keeping you from being an adult also keeps you from being the adult that the world needs. I need you to be an agent of change because you – and others like you – are the best part of our future.
You are smart, witty, and compassionate. You see the best in people even when they have given you many reasons not to do so. You approach learning with a hunger that cannot be satisfied, and you just keep wanting more. You are a super hard worker, know how to work with people, and are just awesome.
The world needs you, Beth, and keeping you from it would simply be rude and unkind. There is a limited supply of awesomeness out there, and you have a big quantity of it. Sharing you – adult you -would help all of us.
The world is a good place because you are in it.
So – Happy Birthday!
…and my eyes are not even leaking as I write this.
2 responses to “A Public Letter to My Daughter as She Turns 20”
I vote for Beth being an awesome person, as well! As an “older adult” I appreciate how she relates to people my age…she has the maturity to realize we can be interesting people, too!! Hope she had a great day!
Yes… it is hard to let go.But it is in letting go that an adult develops her full potential. Knowing that as a parent , you have equipped her with all moral values, it will require tons of strength and discerning to do what is right. The pull of external influences will always be there, but prayers do help.