Im not quite sure why but my daughter turning 16 today is really hitting me hard. I wrote a blog a year or so ago about how I know once they have a driver’s license they are gone. Really. I mean I was. On my 16th birthday I stood in the DMV line bright and early with my Dad. I passed the test, we went home and I drove away. And as symbolically as you can get…that was it. There’s a freedom with driving that makes it impossible to turn back time. To make them still NEED you. In Colorado the law requires you have your permit a full year before you can get your license and since we didn’t get Maddie’s permit until October last year she wont have her license for a another few months BUT….SIXTEEN. Man.

I wanted a child so badly. And because of a blood clotting disorder I was unaware of,  I Iost SEVERAL pregnancies pretty late term. So when Maddie made me a Mom 16 years ago today it was pretty amazing. Every damn day has been a lesson in humility, patience, compromise, sadness, joy, anger, screwing up, getting it right, being honest and every other emotion under the sun. She is stubborn, funny, witty, intelligent, beautiful and determined. Funny. As happy as it makes you that they’ve become this cool person that can live on their own, have opinions, argue back, be kind, make choices….it is bittersweet.
I don’t know how we got it right with her. Maybe we didn’t. Maybe she’s this great person because of HER. I have never been a conventional parent. Ever. Im acutely aware that she lies to me, hides texts, snap chats cuss words, may not ALWAYS be where she says she is. I know she keeps her friends’ secrets. From me. And while most parents don’t think thats ok…and maybe its not…it is normal. Very normal. I did all of that. She makes great grades. She is kind. She is determined and successful and damn it she is 16! Doing all that you should and shouldn’t. And isn’t that a cool thing. I hope she makes mistakes, gets heart broken, finds love, makes life long friends, skips class in college once or twice to go water skiing, is scared, unsure, confident, stands her ground, dances a lot, helps people without anyone knowing, takes chances, follows her passion, eats Ramen noodles, flies to Paris, and loves music…….all of it. All. Of. It.
I used to sing Leann Womack’s song “I Hope You Dance” to her while she was in my tummy. And I hope she does. Always…….always choose to dance.
Happy Birthday to our beautiful Madelyn. Grab life by the balls little girl….there’s no other way to live it.

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