Sunday, October 20, 2013

My Middle Child Turns 25 and I'm In Denial

Chloe & Rylee, Santa Monica, 2013
Turning twenty-five years old is like waking up from a blissful dream and finding yourself on the precipice of emotional turmoil. Falling into the chasm of being a quarter of a century old, your life flashes before your eyes, and you run down the list of what ifs, how comes, haven't dones, and still-have-to-dos.

You celebrate your accomplishments and wonder, what next? The lingering cockiness of youth battles with the impending maturity of adulthood. 

At 25, you're finally going to understand that trying to make everyone happy, living the life THEY want you to have, fulfilling THEIR expectations of you, is the direct path to misery. 

I hope you know that I've never been the type of mom to impose these constraints on you and encourage my kids to be themselves. I don't believe that going through a formulated process of X, Y, and Z is the only solution to a fulfilling life. I guarantee that life won't be what you expect and the loneliness you'll feel is agonizing. Just know it's only temporary. 

All I ask is for you to be responsible in every aspect of your life. You chose to take on the responsibility of being Rylee's mommy and it's evident how hard you try. For that, I commend you. Don't let anyone tell you that you ruined your life in making that choice because it's YOUR life to live. 

As the middle child, you may believe that you're compared to your siblings, especially your sister. Although that might be true for some people, it's not true for me. You can be accountable for the choices you make in your life and accept your imperfections. Doing this will save you the angst of growing older. 

For your quarter of a century birthday I simply pray that you find the courage to be honest with yourself, truthful with others, and most of all, sincere with Rylee. (I've never seen a child love her mommy with so much depth.)

I promise you this: you have the best years ahead of you. They won't be the best because life was golden every day but because you learned to face your challenges with grace and courage. Trust me, the rewards for overcoming obstacles and learning to handle conflicts are immeasurable. 

Each one of us has a grand story to tell and it's not in the milestones of turning 25. Make sure you live, truly live, in the mess and beauty of the present moment because it's in the mundane when our stories come alive. 

Happy 25th Birthday, Chloe!