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Leaving the Teen Years Behind

Today is Chickie’s birthday.

She’s 20 years old today and officially leaving teenager-dom behind.

What’s it like to have a child reach this milestone?

It’s strange, really.

To think that my baby girl is beginning the third decade of her life just seems rather odd.

People always tell you to enjoy your babies…that time will pass by quickly.

It’s difficult to appreciate their words when you’re having trouble staying awake at work because you were up all night with a screaming child who had an ear infection or sat in a steamy shower for several hours to help your child’s croup clear up.

I remember when I quit working to stay home full time.

Chickie was a very active three-and-a-half year old.  Rooster had just turned one.

I wasn’t used to being with them 24/7.  There were afternoons when I laid on the floor and begged the clock to move faster.

The adjustment period lasted three months, and then I got into the swing of things and never looked back.

Being at home for so many years and even working part time later so I wouldn’t miss the important stuff provided many opportunities for memory making.

The memories come flooding randomly these days but, especially, on birthdays.

I remember several birthday parties at the skating rink in south Florida.  Chicky learned how to politely thank her friends for Barbies they’d gifted her but that she already had at home.  She’d look over at me with a knowing look, turn back to the person, and smile and say thank you.

As a stay-at-home mom, I spent a lot of time in Chicky’s classroom in elementary school, and I remember many birthdays spent carting specially-decorated cupcakes for school celebrations.  Chicky’s eyes lit up in anticipation when I arrived with those treats.

I remember the first birthday Chicky celebrated in Podunk, USA.  She’d invited the entire soccer team…her new friends…and though we were renting a small house, the girls had a wonderful time.  I don’t remember exactly what they did that night, but I do remember a lot of laughter and, perhaps, the girls running and jumping off of couches into mattresses?  (The Mr. supervised that activity.)  I made heavily-laden chocolate chip pancakes the next morning.  The girls had to be rolled out because their tummies were so full.

I remember another birthday, this one in our new home, when the girls went out and had a silly string fight.  Poor Chicky and her naturally curly hair.  It took days to get all of the stuff out of her hair.  I was still finding silly string on my garage wall months later!

I remember Chicky’s 16th birthday when she thought she was getting a car (Rooster had given her a keychain) but got diamond stud earrings and a beautiful jewelry box instead.

There were tears of disappointment shed that day, but Chicky grew up a lot because of it, and we laugh about it now.

With Chicky gone to college, we can’t spend her birthdays with her any more, and I find that sad, relying, instead, on the mailman to deliver surprises for us.

Still, it’s a part of life…children grow up, we miss them, and we hold on to the memories of their youth.

At the same time, we anticipate the excitement of the future that awaits our now-grown children who are a little more mature (hopefully) and ready to face their futures head on.

Happy 20th Birthday to my Chicky Poo.  You’re growing into a lovely young lady, and I couldn’t be more proud of you.

I’m so grateful that the Lord brought you into my life, and I pray that as you begin your 20th year of life, you will daily praise Him and turn to Him for all things.  (I also pray that you will remember to send thank you notes for the gifts you receive…Facebook “thanks” aren’t enough.  Thanks for letting me diverge from my topic a bit.)

I love you with all of my heart.

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