My youngest turns 20 today - a special milestone for both of us. Mandy can say good-bye to those teenage years, the ones filled with awkward first loves. fancy school dances, and the drama of high school friendships. She is now entering a new decade where her entire life is before her - filled with dreams, hopes, and the knowledge that anything is possible. Mandy is a bright young lady, if I do say so myself, and I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to witness her grow into an independent young woman.
But today is significant for me as well. I am no longer the mother of a teenager - a role that I have played for fourteen years. I am not necessarily melancholy, just reflective. We certainly had our fair share of struggles and differing opinions, but for the most part my children managed to navigate the turbulent teens with maturity and intelligence. They are all well-adjusted adults, living on their own and supporting themselves. What more could a mother ask?
Mandy has lived two decades, and when I stop to remember the day she was born, it truly does not seem that long ago. It causes me to wonder ..... how quickly will the next twenty years pass? What is my future calling? How will I continue to make a difference in this world? What limitations (physical as well as mental) will hold me back?
The first two decades of my life focused on education... to be the best student I could be. The second twenty years focused on marriage and raising a family. The past ten years returned me to the classroom, this time as a teacher. What will be the focus of this next phase of life? Writing? Perhaps. Grandmother-hood? For sure. But is there something more?
My mother once said, there is a fine line that separates, "some day I will...." from "there is not enough time to..." I need to start prioritizing those dreams and hopes, begin to set deadlines, and become serious about planning for this golden age. I do not want to look back on life with regret.
So I will say a fond farewell to the teenage years... at least for another decade, when my granddaughter will be on the cusp of her thirteenth birthday. There is certainly a lot of living to do between now and then.