What a week!!
My first-born daughter, first-born blessing, first-born gift has moved into a new phase that I had never fully conceptualized. I had pictured life through age 10 quite thoroughly...but beyond that it has all been fuzzy, blurry, half-baked. Yet here it is--delivered in a bright yellow box with a glittery bow on top.
Saturday was the big bash--Sweet Sixteen Carnival party--with friends, urban aunts, grandma and emotionally-wrought mom in tow. Sunday was the actual birth-day. The day celebrated 15 times previously, and the story told ceremoniously over and over--and now reaching a culmination of sorts in the magical number 16.
A number of significance for not obvious reasons. The major new privilege previously denied is driving...alone...by yourself...unsupervised...without an adult...without me. Cue Tuesday: the day we went to the DMV and Savannah walked out a proud and fully-licensed driver. She took her first solo drive over to her "Friend-boy" Mike's house, and then to Taco Bell to get her sister two tacos. She's a good girl. And still, I have the motherly impulse to worry, to fret, to cry over the wonderful years gone so fast and the precious few left to our unique, intimate family unit. For better or worse, it is ours, and ours alone.
I have recently found myself sharing more of my inner thoughts and emotions with Savannah. More than I thought wise up to this point. More than I think wise still. I have so wanted her to have a childhood--to have innocence and naivety and simplicity. And she does...and has. But I have these moments where I slip, and I tell her more than I would like, and the words are out of my mouth before I can take them back and she knows more of the grown-up part of the world than I wanted her to know. But she does not seem affected--she is cool and calm and unflappable. She reassures me that these things don't bother her and she would rather know where I am coming from and what is affecting me than wondering and worrying about what it may be.
She is gracious. She is smart. She is intuitive and sensitive and bright. She is still the beautiful 6 pound 11.5 ounce bundle of possibility I brought home from the hospital 16 years ago--and yet she is more self-aware, confident, and wonderful than I could have ever hoped or imagined. Although this new era of our lives scares the shit out of me (her driving is no small part of the scare factor) I am also excited. Eager to see how the rest of Savannah unfolds. To see her triumphs, her heartaches, her struggles, and her successes. She is and will continue to be the best parts of those who have contributed to her development and at the same time is able to accept and appreciate the weaknesses and humanity of all of us--and herself.
I am simultaneously elated and overwhelmed by my daughters--both of them--and the way our life is blossoming. And I am eternally grateful for their faith, forgiveness, and love toward me and each other as we fumble our way through it together.