Dear Lotion Brain and Syrup Head -
Today marks the day that I become legally unnecessary: you are 18. You don't need me to go to the doctor's office or sign a form to add another hole or permanent design to your body. You can walk into any mini-mart and order a pack of cigarettes and a lottery ticket because you have reached that magic age of Adulthood. You can vote, serve in the Armed Forces, serve alcohol in some places, and even walk into an adult book store and have a look around (mind you, I wouldn't recommend doing that without moral support). Hell, you can even get married now (thank you, Lola . . . whatever would I do without you?) if you feel like it, but that would bring about a whole myriad of complications: no health care, no tuition, no dependency status with all its benefits. As adults, you are 100% responsible for your actions . . . and yet, you will always be the two little lovelies who turned my world upside down and put it right side up again. Who knows where I would be without you? One thing is for sure - my life is better for having you in it.
Eighteen years ago, I was petrified. I was convinced I would break you or not be a good mom or do something that would cause us all harm. Would you eat enough? Would your dad and I make it past the "sell-by" date that others had given us? Would you sleep? Would you meet the benchmarks on time? Would we have a place to live? Those questions all have answers, but fast forward 18 years, and I am still petrified. Will you eat enough next year? Will you get enough sleep? Will you like what you are doing? Will your dad and I survive without you? The answer to all of those questions is: I don't know . . . and that scares the shit out of me. My one lingering hope is that we gave you the tools to make your own decisions and the convictions to stand behind them.
So that's it . . . no real words of wisdom, no pearls to tuck away for a rainy day, no snappy sayings to pull out at the right moment. Just hope. Hope for a bright future, filled with love and happiness. It's a pretty powerful emotion if you let it in your life. After all, I hoped I made the right decision in August of 1990, and that was confirmed 18 years ago today at 10:28 and 10:29 PM. Happy birthday, Jordan and Shelby!
All my love,
PS - At least go buy that lottery ticket . . . it might be your lucky day! Save the tattoo and the lip piercings for later.