6:30. I roll over in bed and bump into the three year old who’s climbed in with us in the night. I think about going back to sleep but instead think of my second-born. It seems like only a year or three ago that she was climbing in bed with me in the night. But today she is 18. Two job interviews next week. Heading off to college this fall. We’re planning a party for her tomorrow evening, but today is shaping up to be a normal Friday. She has Spanish class this morning, and then a house to clean (her current part-time job.)

I think about the day she was born, how I labored slowly all night. Then in a 45-minute rush at 7 AM I went from 5 centimeters to holding her in my arms. 7 pounds, 11 ounces. Scarlet, screaming. Gorgeous. My heart swells for the baby that she was 18 years ago, and the faithful, intensely hard-working, witty, accomplished person she has become.

We’ll be waiting till tomorrow morning to give her the traditional Owlhaven birthday breakfast in bed. But I find myself longing to begin the celebrating, and so I get up and make her french toast with strawberries and powdered sugar, arranged artfully. She looks pleased and thanks me and eats and I drink my coffee and we read the paper together.

And I thank God for the blessing of her.

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  1. This made me teary-eyed. My oldest is only five, yet it seems to be flying by. I know he will be 18 in the blink of an eye.
    She looks just like you.

  2. Time goes so quickly, this I know! Happy Birthday to your precious daughter.

  3. Happy Birthday!! [:-)

    Love, Auntie Rachel

  4. Oh, I am SO not ready for 18. My daughter is 11 and it seems just yesterday she was a toddler, drooling on my shirt. Maybe that’s why I keep having kids. 🙂

  5. Time flies by so fast! What a beautiful daughter you have, Mary. My youngest is off to university in September too. The nest will be well and truely empty then.

  6. I forgot to say Happy Birthday! I hope she has a beautiful day!

  7. My oldest turned 18 last week. It is shocking how fast time zooms past us. Happy Birthday to your lovely daughter.

  8. awhh…so sweet. what a beautiful daughter. and whole family. xoxox

  9. wow, happy birthday to her!

    time flies !


  10. Oh my word–were you 18 yourself when she was born? You look so young!
    Happy birthday to your daughter! What a beautiful young woman she is!