Happy Birthday Brighid

It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. ~Joyce Maynard

My oldest child turns 23 in an hour and a half.

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22 was a year of big things for Brighid – not always good things, but big things.  She spent most of the year living away from home, learning the good and the bad about running a home, paying bills, and struggling to balance everything.  She also moved back home, swallowing a bit of pride, learning how to share with sisters and do chores all over again – teetering between being a real grown up and a grown child.  She made changes in her career goals, altering her educational plans so that she ends up graduating a full semester sooner.  She lost – then found – love.  She made genuine re-connections with friends, and made genuine new friends that have become increasingly important in her life. She has gone from informed and interested voter to informed and invested candidate.  She may have even made one or two decisions on her own about what to wear when she’s going out.  That alone brings a tear to my eye.

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As we begin her 23rd year together, I see things differently than I did a year ago.  I see a more determined, more sure person than I saw at age 22; one who seems to have found a path she’s comfortable on and convinced she can navigate.  She seems certain about the goals she’s set and her ability to achieve them.  She has fewer questions and more answers.  When she asks my advice, is not so she can go against it; it’s because she might actually benefit from it.

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Then I finally realized what it was I was seeing.  As Brighid has grown, so have I.  I’ve evolved as a mother, and without babies in the house, I can see these kids as they truly are – their personalities, quirks, and their individual brilliance.  I recognize them equally as people and as my daughters.  I am at the same time both awed by them and impressed with them.  With each passing birthday, they grow; I grow; the vision we have of each other grows.

Each birthday is a milestone – bittersweet to be sure, but growth always is.  Gone are the beautiful babies I rocked to sleep, but they have been replaced with these amazing, incredible people I am so grateful to know – grateful to be a part of.

These are my daughters, I suppose.
But where in the world did the children vanish?
~Phyllis McGinley, “Ballad of Lost Objects,” 1954

Happy birthday, Brighid.  I am as excited for the accomplishments I know you will achieve as I am proud of the ones you’ve already earned.  Love you!

Paul Ryan

 

Alaska or Aloha Bound – Part 3 – The Kid Influence

Before I plan any vacation, I ask my kids what they want to do. And then I book my trip to Disney.

Actually, when offered Alaska or Hawaii as a possible vacation for next year, the girls were pretty split. They had things they wanted to do in Alaska that we didn’t have time to do on our last cruise, but the thought of two weeks on a beach was very appealing. They were no help in trying to decide.

But here’s where a kid’s input on the Alaska or Hawaii vacation plans hit hard. Brighid, at this point in her life, doesn’t have any idea what next summer will be like for her. Degree in hand, she is hoping to have a full time job, but when she might actually get one is anyone’s guess. Will she have accumulated any vacation time by next summer? Does she want to use her vacation from work for a family trip, or is it time for her to want to vacation on her own or with friends – especially when that vacation time is more limited?

So when asked whether she preferred Alaska or Hawaii, Brighid’s answer was, “Don’t plan on me to be able to go – I’m just not sure.”

So here’s where Hawaii has a definite advantage.

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If we book a cruise to Alaska, we won’t book Brighid. We may find out closer to the trip that she can at least fly out to Vancouver and get on the cruise, if not the whole family vacation, but when we find that out for sure, will it be too late to book her on the trip? What will the cabin availability be?

In the morning, the consequences of using https://www.ja-newyork.com/xanax-online/ aren’t noticeable – the child is active, and there is no lethargy and drowsiness.

Hawaii offers some flexibility. If we end up being able to book for two weeks, which is our goal, Brighid might be able to join us for at least part of the vacation. Even if she doesn’t have a whole lot of vacation time accumulated, she might be able to put a long weekend together and join us for at least a little while. You can’t do that with a cruise.

I hope my girls always want to do family vacations, but I’m a realist. That weighs pretty heavily on making the Alaska or Aloha decision for next summer.

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