Tuesday, April 24, 2007

How to Tell That Your Kid is All Grown Up

After having coffee with the staff from my most recent job (yeah, that one) and then heading downtown to have a few drinks with some former co-workers from the non-profit I worked at before that (fun!), I drove across the Aurora Bridge to Elisabeth's cute little blue house in Wallingford.

"Elisabeth's house."

Wasn't Elisabeth just playing house? Wasn't it just yesterday that she held the poor cat and her baby brother hostage at her plastic Little Tykes table for a tea party?

And now she has a beautiful little place of her own, with all her own furniture, paying her own rent, buying her own food, forging her own successful career, and living very much her own life!

When on earth did that happen? Did I age during those years too? I don't know how I possibly could have because I feel just the same. But there was definitely a passage of time, a birth of a young woman, a blossoming of a true friendship.

So here's how you can tell that your baby is all grown up:

1.) She hugs you when she greets you, hugs you when she says goodbye and tells you she loves you in between.

2.) There are family photos everywhere in her place -- childhood bubble-bath photos of her siblings on the bathroom walls, pictures of her parents on her bookshelves, framed photos of grandparents on her dresser. All the same people who were considered dorks and dweebs (except the granfdparents, of course) just a few years ago...

3.) She insists on splitting the check when you go out for a fancy and delicious sushi dinner.

4.) She asks you how your life is going -- and is genuinely interested in the answer. And you feel that you can really tell her honestly how life is going and how you're feeling about it.

5.) She no longer asks for help with her homework (you couldn't have kept up since she was in 8th grade anyway), but she does ask you for help with her 401K and her health insurance deductibles.

6.) She talks to you about anything and everything. Really -- anything and everything! And it's like talking to a good friend, not a child.

7.) She loves her siblings in a completely new way. She invites them to her cocktail parties and takes them shopping and keeps an eye on them when Mom and Dad go out of town -- and doesn't fink on her siblings... even if she probably should! ;-)

8.) She picks up a few groceries on her way to your house.

9.) She takes "her" cat home with her, to her new house... to her own house. And the cat is much happier there.

10.) You have a new friend... who's been your friend all along.

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Anonymous said...

Your post was very sweet. I hope I can look back with such fondness when my daughter is all grown up :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! It looks like she was a beautiful happy little girl and she's a beautiful happy adult now! And she's both your loving daughter and your friend. Seems to me you've done a great job of being a mom. Congratulations!

(...My son grew about an inch in the last couple of weeks and every time I look at him I'm surprised to see how tall he is. It's hard for my mental image of who he is to keep up with his real growth.)

Goofball said...

wow, seems like you've done a fantastic parenting job and that you've prepared your daughter well for life!

Anonymous said...

Isn't that just the greatest thing when you can call your child also your friend! I don't have a daughter, but I feel that way about my sons. They bring tears to my eyes when I watch them with their children; the love and patience they show them is something to behold. I am so darn proud of them.

Dixie said...

You should be so proud to have raised such a wonderful young woman and feel so lucky to be able to count her as one of your friends. :)

Anonymous said...

An excellent guide for parents facing the empty nest.

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