18 summers

Happy birthday to the loveliest of daughters….mine! Today she turns 18, and I’m reminded of what I’d say is the best parenting advice I ever heard.

You only get 18 summers.

It’s cliche but the years do fly by and then BOOM(!), it’s over. No longer children. The realization that a chapter of life is over. Which evokes celebration, yes. But also some sad sentimentality. Here’s something I wrote for her in honor of the occasion.

do you remember the [Princess Catherine Alexis] stories I made up for you?

you will soon be off for one more grand adventure as the princess

this time far away, to the big city

funny that some people think Lexington is the big city

seriously, it’s not

and I expect it will never again be your home

you are free and freely you’ll go

out and up and beyond

and like the stories, which I told you when you were so young

you will help people, make things better

that’s what the princess did, if you remember

you are tenacious and if someone asked me your best quality

I would say just that

“she’s tenacious”

bound and determined

you are my sunshine

you have heard me say that hundreds of times

bright and shining

you give me joy

we are in the last of the summers

which is somewhat unsettling, for me

but we can’t go back

wouldn’t want to, actually

because today is your day, eighteen years from the beginning

and you’re where you’re supposed to be

going where you’re supposed to go

and the sun is shining

clarity is the gift you’re given today

to know you’re on the right track

moving with grace

comfort in saying good bye while knowing all will be well

goodbye to the stories, because you don’t need them anymore

hello to who you are, and who you’ll be

with admiration and love I tell you I’m amazed

at your overcoming and ability to adapt

I await


knowing I will be a part, always, of you

wishes for a happy day, and even happier days ahead




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