Our daughter is turning 16.
Her 10th birthday was the last one he would ever see.
I’ve written quite a bit about my own milestones that he’s missed, as well as the ones that were significant to our relationship.
With time those have gotten easier, but I must admit that him missing his youngest child’s sweet sixteenth, stings.
The last time he saw her, she was still much shorter than me.
She had long, curly hair that had been colored a mermaid-like blue-green.
She was a little girl.
Now, I have to look up to look at her.
She’s had a litany of different hairstyles, lengths, and colors. (Currently, it’s long and dark purple.)
She’s a teenager, but she’s also a statuesque, young woman.
And he’s not here to see any of it.
He’s not going to join us for sushi – her choice. And he loved sushi, so he would have been very impressed by that!
He’s not teaching her the rules of the road – I am.
So much has changed, and yes, there will always be heartache behind that.
But you know what?
There is so much to be proud of.
I’m proud of our daughter – she’s one of the strongest people I know.
I’m even proud of me. I’ve pulled off six of her birthdays without him.
And now we’re pulling off her Sweet 16.
No, there’s no classic Chevrolet Chevelle waiting in the driveway with a big red bow. (Her name is Chevelle, by the way.)
But give me a few more of these birthdays and there very well may be.
We grow more, we heal more every year.
And since I believe he’s seeing all of this, I hope he is just as proud of us too.
Happy Sweet Sixteen to My Chevelle Noir! You never cease to inspire me. Thank you for choosing me to be your mama!
Photo from Sixteen Candles, via Lifetime