Saturday, November 3, 2007

My Baby Is Growing Up

Casey is my youngest. She will be 18 on Monday. I find myself wondering why life is moving so quickly. I feel like I missed something. But I was there for the whole thing.

When Zack was 3, I was pregnant and worried that I would never love another child as much as I did him. I could not imagine it at all and was quite concerned. I guess I didn't really understand motherhood. Because a mother's capacity for love expands at the rate required. You love as much, but you do love differently.

My children are nothing alike. Zack is laid back, Casey is intense. Zack is quiet and a people-pleaser, Casey is outgoing and independent. I love those things about each of them. I love that they are different. But that is challenging when kids want to be treated the same. I have always told my kids that fair and equal does NOT mean the same. Here's my speech:

Kid - "Mom, you let him/her have this/do this/go there/etc and you NEVER (it's always never) let me!"
Mom - "You are not the same. Do I need to point out the differences between you again? I let you do other things that I don't allow him/her to do. I treat you differently because you need different things from me. I love you both equally but you are different, so I treat you differently. Now go find something else to complain about."

And now they are technically, legally grownups. At least Casey will be on Monday. I am kind of sad but very excited for her and for what lies ahead. She is an amazing young woman and we have become quite good friends as she has grown up. I am still her mom but our relationship goes beyond mother-daughter. And I like that. It is what I had with my mom. It is what I have always wanted.