Yesterday, on October 4, 2015, my oldest daughter, Krishna, turned 15 years old.
To many people, that statement will fall kind of flat. Sixteen is generally more celebrated, you are old enough to drive, and people have a “Sweet 16” party. For me though, fifteen is a big one. You see, I am 30 this year. My daughter is half my age. She is the age I was when she was born. This brings with it a lot of emotions.
I am sad that her childhood is all but gone. She is no longer a small baby or toddler that I can pick up and hold. I cannot carry her, and I don’t read to her. She doesn’t need me to feed her or bathe her, and it has been years since last I changed her diaper or put a bandage on her knee.
I am concerned that she will get into a physical relationship before she is ready, and I am afraid of the consequences of doing so. I know she is not yet ready to be a mother, and I can only pray that she understands the responsibility of making sure she doesn’t have to face the reality of being a mother too soon.
I feel old. There, I said it. Having a child who is half your age is like a sucker punch to your gut. From this moment on, I will have been a mother for more than half my life. That, in itself, is a jarring thought.
Mostly, though, I am proud. This is my baby. She will always be my baby, regardless of how old she grows. She is an intelligent (AP Algebra), beautiful, strong, wonderful, kind, loving young lady. She has achieved a purple sash in kung fu, she loves helping kids, she loves to read, sing, draw and paint. She has friends who are popular and friends who are not, and she will stand up for a person who is being bullied, even when the bully is her friend. She is even good at cooking, though her cleaning skills resemble my own nonexistent ones.
I know that, someday in the not so distant future, she will graduate high school, go (or not go) to college, get married (or not) and have children of her own (if she chooses). I know my feelings on those days will mirror my feelings right now, but nothing will ever come quite close to my emotions today simply because this is my first moment experiencing this. My baby is half my age. There is no going back. I am so proud of who she is today, and so excited for who she will become in the future. I truly believe she can do whatever she should put her mind to.
I love my Krishna. I love her more and more every day.