Eighteen Years Old.
Does anyone else remember what it was like to turn eighteen years old?
There are some days when it feels like yesterday.
And days like today, where it feels as though it must have been an eternity ago.
Today, my oldest child turned eighteen.
How in the world did that happen?
I’ve already written about the day that my eyes first gazed into the eyes of my firstborn child. I wrote that post when he turned sixteen.
About him, I’ve shared my observations on having a tall child. (he’s 6’6″)
I’ve recognized the slow release of motherhood.
I’ve marveled at that space between child and man.
There are days when I thought this moment might never arrive and others when I wanted to push away the hands of time…to hold them in their place…to fight the passage of these fleeting moments.
Yet, time still kept moving forward. We have arrived at that moment when in the eyes of the law, my son is a grown man. This moment when he owns every future decision that he makes.
And I am taken back to my own year of being eighteen.
For me, eighteen was a year of so many choices.
It was a year of love…and a year of heartbreak.
A year of finding a piece of me…and a year of losing a piece of me.
It was full of adventure and exploration.
A time of meeting new people. A time of feeling like I knew the world.
It was also the year that I would have my first experience with an anxiety attack. I finished up my degree at the community college a few months after I turned eighteen, and not knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up, I took a break and got a full-time job. Even though I had been working since the age of fourteen, this was my first grown-up job.
I was hired while my future boss was on medical leave. It’s possible that she resented this fact. I don’t really know, but it was apparent she didn’t care for me. I remember being written up for a job I didn’t complete. A small job that she had apparently forgotten that she had switched to somebody else’s responsibility because I was still doing all other parts of my job, cross-training in another of her departments, fixing six months of errors caused by someone else, and training a new person for the old person’s job.
There were other moments…but you get the idea.
After some time at the job, I also got a part-time job in the evenings. One day, I was having tingling in my lips and down my arm and into my fingertips. I called my doctor, thinking perhaps it was a reaction to a medicine. He told me to come over and after checking me out, he had me breathe into a paper bag. That was when he told me that I was in a constant state of low-level hyperventilation.
I moved beyond that phase.
I still deal with anxiety, but I’ve learned coping mechanisms over the years.
Slowing down my breathing is usually the first one I employ.
I don’t know what the future holds for my eighteen-year-old.
He still has a lot to learn about himself.
But he seems to know himself better than I did at eighteen.
…and that makes my heart so happy.
Let your light shine!
22 thoughts on “I’m the Mother of an Adult”
I remember this way back, long ago. My son will be 48 this year. I’m way older than you. Then along comes a grand-baby at some point and it’s even sweeter than your own. I don’t know why, but it is. Then a great comes along. The circle of life.
Have a fabulous day. ♥
My mother always said there is a different sweetness to a grand baby. I wonder if it’s the lack of exhaustion 😉 The circle of life is a magnificent thing.
I hope you had an amazing day! <3
My youngest of 3 just turned 18. Being the only daughter, she is also the only one that is still at home as her two brothers are away at college. As the father of 3 adults, I see the effect it has on the mother of three adults and I can definitely empathize! I think the craziest realization is that even though they are “newly minted” adults, they still need their mom, probably even more now.
My youngest of 3 is also the only daughter. I feel like she may be the hardest one to fathom that moment when she turns 18 because she is our baby. The boys will head to college back to back so she will still be home and in high school for three years as the only one here. Even now, sometimes in my mind I think of her as 12, when she’s already halfway through 14. lol. 🙂
I know exactly where you are. While my daughter has only been here 2 years before the house becomes insanely quiet. That is something I don’t think there is anyway to prepare for. For the past year I have been using #dontblink anytime I post anything that dealt with my kids just to express how fast they grow up.
One of my friends just mentioned a song called “Don’t Blink” as the time has just flown by since our children were little.
I will be looking that up. Might be the new anthem.
Congratulations on making it this far! My youngest turned 21 last April. How did that happen!!!?
I understand how you feel, and just as you start to think of your kids as adults, they will remind you that they really aren’t! They still need you mom!
Thanks! Oh my! 21! And the youngest too! I’m sure I’ll be asking how it happened too! I’m already at that spot with 18 on the oldest. I feel like for many of us, we always need our mothers. 🙂
I remember when my daughter turned 18 and how old I felt, yet still feeling young inside my own skin. Now she is 26 with a life of her own. There are days when I see her and think – Where has the time gone? In that question there is a huge lesson for all of us. Time flies by so quickly. We get wrapped up in our daily lives, what’s on TV, the Olympics, our technology, that we forget to slow down and enjoy each and every day. Don’t be too worried about your son – he looks like a bright young man and he’ll figure it out. We never stop worrying, I know, but they leave the nest and we can’t be there to protect them every day. I’m sure you did a great job. Nice post and it shows your love for your children 🙂
I agree Jai! A huge lesson to be learned! It does become a great reminder to slow down and enjoy it. Thank you for your kind words. 🙂
Congratulations on making it this far 🙂 I’m sure you are a great role model for your son because he has one of the most supportive, kind and strong mom in the world. <3 <3 <#
Thanks so much Sedi! Your kind words are much appreciated! <3
My Pleasure, Wishing you a great weekend❤❤❤
The highlights in the life of our children also become our highlights. We notice the subtle differences and the things that are the same. As you’ve noted, our own experiences come rushing back in a torrent of memories.
Congratulations to your son – and to you. I’ve long believed that we somehow got it wrong, and that on birthdays we should be celebrating the mother, not the child – for that day is particularly special to her. The child doesn’t remember it at all 💕
This is all so true Joanne. And it does all come rushing back. Thanks so much for the congratulations. I’ll pass them along. Celebrating the mother sounds like an awesome idea! <3
It is a whole new thing, and your feelings seem normal to me. I think it’s nice the oldest is grown first. I realize that sounds weird, but it’s the order of things — that basket is done full uppa eggs and ready to travel. It’s a wonderful, wonderful blessing, a long time coming. <3
Thanks Joey! I understand this progression of life most days. I feel infinitely blessed to be at this moment in time…there is a level of “we’ve made it” <3
I remember when I was 18 too and the whole world was before me. Seems a lifetime ago now. So many forks in the road, decisions, some right, some I wonder “what if” but they’ve all lead me to where I am now. Just as you are where you’re meant to be. And now your son is on his journey. May the road ahead be paved with happiness and fulfilment for him. Lovely post Amy. 💙
Thank you Miriam! I too have many moments of forks in the road, but just like you, I know that I am exactly where I am meant to be. I can’t wait to watch where his journey leads. <3