Things I’ve learned from my daughter on her 18th birthday…

I’ve obviously known this day was coming but believe me, the simple fact that my wee baby girl is suddenly a full-fledged adult is baffling at best. Time decided to warp its way through her childhood and here we are…eighteen years later!

Megan, I have been blessed by you. Forever by my side and my biggest champion…you have been one of the greatest things to ever happen to my heart. I am forever grateful for all that you’ve given me and the sheer joy of being your mom…despite all of the challenges we face with both our similarities in personality…and our differences.

Through the years, you’ve taught me amazing life lessons simply by watching you. It’s because of you, that I’ve learned to…

Live in the Moment

I recall the very moment I realized I needed to slow things down. You weren’t even born and while eight months pregnant, relaxing in the bath, I was watching my belly flip and roll as I could make out your various appendages poking through and I thought…”this is it”…”this is the last time I’ll ever feel this feeling so take it all in. Treasure it!” And I did. From that moment on…I had this feeling that I needed to enjoy every stage and milestone of being a mom as it would be the very last time I’d have the pleasure of experiencing it quite that way again. Whether joyful, frustrating, annoying or thrilling…it was the last and for that reason alone…I needed to live in the moment rather than wishing away time.

Make Good Decisions

Because of you, and this feeling of everything going too fast and not wanting to miss a thing, I left a great career and opted to switch to part-time work just so I could spend more time with all of you. Eventually, I left work altogether to be a stay-at-home mom. I was there on the very first day of primary, to walk you to school…and I was there to greet you at the end of the day. I volunteered in your classroom and attended every single field trip that I could as I’d felt I missed so much before…and I wasn’t missing it again. I made a decision and have zero regrets about taking the time I needed to spend with my family. I thank you…for giving me that opportunity for myself, for you, and for your siblings.

Find Your Passion

Through your childhood, we tried absolutely everything we could to find that thing that made you tick. You’d try for a while, see it through the season, then decide on something new. From tumbling to skating…dancing and swimming…you kept searching for your passion but nothing really stuck. Eventually, you found it…and when you did…you committed and clung to it with every fibre of your being. Riding…then later volleyball…became your your “thing” and through both, you have shown amazing commitment and enthusiasm that at times, has left me completely in awe.

Dream Big, Work Harder

You’ve faced challenges, made decisions and worked hard whether at school, at the barn or on the court. You have faced challenges and adversity with every bit of grit, determination and tenacity required to overcome. You’ve worked hard to get what you need and want from your sports and life in general. From you, I’ve learned that dreaming big requires focus and perseverance…but dreaming big, is the only way to go.

Feelings are Meant to be Felt

Because of you, I’ve learned that feelings are meant to be felt even it if means spreading out on the kitchen floor in a massive hot mess while letting the inside…out. You love hard. Laugh hard. And hurt even bigger. Everything is a little bit extra from love to disappointment and everything in between…you choose to feel. Each fear and joy in your life you pull out to explore…to give it the attention it requires until you can settle with it. Find peace with it. Use it to your advantage or live with it.

Know and Trust Yourself

You know you. You’re a rule follower. You put yourself first. You believe in yourself. You have strong convictions about right and wrong and you trust yourself. You rely on your morals. Your decisions are based on your beliefs and you stay true to who you are even when it goes against what everyone else is doing…even when it hurts. From you, I’ve learned how important it is to be authentic…be real…be you.

Singing Makes Everything Better

And…when all else fails…you sing. From you, I’ve learned to sing loud and proud whether in the car or with a ukulele in hand. Sing to your heart’s content the fun songs, the sad song, the old songs and new ones. Sing like no one can hear you and sing as if the whole world is listening. It lifts the spirits…and takes away the woes!

Meg, you came into my world with a force I can’t explain. You made yourself known from the very beginning and I’ve embraced everything about the person you are. I am a better person for having you at my side as you’ve taught me things about myself I didn’t know before. I rely on you…as much as you rely on me.

On your 18th, I’m a little sad that much of my parenting is behind me…my last babe is officially grown. However, I also feel great joy, an immense amount of pride, and an overwhelming amount of love…to celebrate the woman you’ve become.

My beautiful, funny, charming, sentimental, sweet, kind, darling girl.


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Photo Credit:
A huge thanks to Danique Rowsell Photography for capturing Megan so beautifully when we celebrated “our” Yellow Horse, Sonny, on his retirement. It seems ironic that I’m using these photos now…on my official retirement of being a mom of little ones. Though to be clear, I’m not ready to be put out to pasture quite yet!

2 Replies to “Things I’ve learned from my daughter on her 18th birthday…”

  1. Written so beautiful for your beautiful daughter. Megan have a wonderful year. Love Aunt BettyP