Late last week, KT sent me a text asking if she could have a Christmas party on Monday. I thought about it for a moment then responded “Sure. What did you have in mind?” I didn’t think much of it when I didn’t hear back from her. I was busy and I knew we would have time to talk that evening. When I arrived home a couple hours later, KT gleefully told me that she had invited twenty five of her closest friends and sixteen had already committed to coming. Rather amused at KT’s neglect of discussing the party plans with me, I asked for more details. She informed me that they were all coming at 2:00, decorating cookies, playing games, watching Christmas movies and just hang out. Realizing that she had everything planned out, I just told her to let me know if she needed anything for me and watched her go.
Over the next few days I watched my girl (dragging her baby sister along for company) shop for tablecloths, extra white elephant gifts, cookie toppings and snacks. She looked up punch recipes and borrowed a punch bowl to put it in, she looked up gift-exchange games and bought prizes, she cleaned the house. The only thing she asked from me was to make cookie dough (which a couple of her friends would come early and help her bake) and frosting…oh and to lend her my debit card.
I’m currently hiding out in my room listening to the joyful laughter of approximately a zillion teens simply enjoying each others company. I’ve been coming out every once in a while…just to say hello…. to make a pizza run…to judge a cookie contest…for the most part I’ve just been giving them their space. I know most of these kids. Some since kindergarten, some just for a year or two. It struck me tonight, that they’ve all grown up. They aren’t kids anymore…heck, they don’t even look like kids anymore.
I have to admit that I cringed when KT turned 18 just over a week ago. She’s now legally an adult. I always thought that this would make me sad. This realization that our girls would grow up, become independent and leave us to make their own way in the world. Amazingly…it doesn’t. To my utter amazement, what I feel is not grief…but pride. I am so very proud of how well our children have turned out. After all, isn’t it the goal of every parent to raise a confident, independent child?
To think…all it took was a simple little party to make me realize this.