I suppose every parent strives to treat all of their children equally. Sure you love them all the same, but it's how you treat them that lets them know that.
I love all three of Bee's kids the same, and I try my hardest (and worry that I don't) to treat them all the same. C will be 11 in less than a month. I started thinking about possible party ideas, the annual cup cake making, how THIS year, we need to make sure she has invitations as to control the number of people coming, what to get her for her birthday, etc. Then, I started forming a blog post about her in my head for when the day arrived. I know they don't read my blog. I know they probably don't even know I HAVE a blog, but *I* know, and it makes me feel good. Maybe one day I will even show them what I have written about them on their birthdays and maybe it will mean something to them. I don't know, time will tell. Then, I started thinking about Little Man, and how his birthday is not all that far away either, especially, once C's arrives. Then it dawned on me, J's 18th birthday passed. 18! A milestone birthday and I wrote not nary a word about it! I mentioned it in passing, sure. I even spoke of her party that fell short, WAAY short, of her expectations, but I did not write a post for her. JUST for her.
Sure, I was busy. Sure, I was in the middle of an impromptu bloggy vacation, but still not a word. Not a nice, meaningful thing was said. I feel guilty. Super guilty. The fact that the ex always treated J like a non-factor or a nuisance, makes me forgetting to blog about it that much worse. Especially since I did it for the other two. In fact, because of the craziness of what was going on, she didn't even get a special meal, or cupcakes or anything like I do for the other two. I just want to serve myself a heaping helping of guilt stew!
I will say this though. J knows we love her. She DID have a party. We DID celebrate with her. We DID wish her a happy birthday. She DID get a present (a cell phone!) She IS a Jehovah Witness, and they don't celebrate those types of things. Her mom didn't even wish her a happy birthday because unlike J, she is devout. So, It's not like we didn't do anything, but I still feel like *I* cheated her. Sure, it's on something she doesn't even know about, but still...
So, even though it's over a month late....
HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY, J!!!!!
Happy 18th Birthday, J. You are officially a legal adult now. I know it feels great and offers new rewards and experiences! With that though, comes great responsibility. Even though you may feel no different, in the eyes of society, you are officially an adult! Capable of making adult decisions, and taking on adult responsibilities and living with adult consequences. I am not saying you can not handle the above facts, I am just asking that you slow down a little and make sure you think about everything before deciding on a course of action.
You, for the first time in your life, are now responsible for your life and it's future. Sure, dad, your mom, and I will always be there for you and we will always do our best to catch you if you fall, but you need to learn to stand on your own two feet. I just hope that the three of us can do our very best to make sure you are prepared to do that! So far, you are doing a great job. :) You are the typical teenager who would rather stay in your room all day on the phone or do things YOU want to do, rather than hang with your little brother and sister, do chores, or spend ANY time with the other 4 who share a house with you. Sometimes, you treat us like room mates, rather than your family, but you know what? I was once 18 too (more recently than mom, dad, or grandma ;) ) and I totally get it. It's not a lack of respect. It's not that you don't care. It's just YOU want to do, what YOU want to do. Be the master of your own destiny....even if it means you control the remote and who is in the surroundings of your 200 SQ FT of space :)
You are a great young woman, J. I love our talks. Yes, I know sometimes I am frustrated with you, but honestly, it's because I see a younger version of myself (and even my SISTER! :) ) in you! I know the mistakes we made and I just don't want you to have to go through them too, ya know? I love how passionate you are. I love how you adore your brother and sister. How connected to your feelings you are. How you express yourself both verbally and in your art, be it your stories or your drawings! I love your never ending thirst for a good book. I love how you are so loyal to your friends and family. Honestly? I have never met anyone so loyal. That is a very good trait to posses! I would just say be careful. Some will take advantage of you for that. You tell me that you are "weird". When I ask you why you say that, you tell me "Because I am. People have been telling me that since I was a little kid." The only thing I can say to that is, if that is the case, embrace it. It's who you are. Who you are, the very "Essence of J" is what makes you so special. In my opinion, "weird" is not the correct term. You are an individual who is not afraid of who she is, or to be herself. In the lemming world of High School, that might make you "weird", but in the REAL world or actual life? That makes you awesome. It also makes you the type of friend/sister/cousin/daughter/lover to hold on tight to, because we are ALL blessed by knowing you and having you in our lives.
Happy Birthday, my sweet girlie :)