I have a proud mother moment to report. My baby girl has just completed her bachelors degree in Culinary Nutrition! She completed her degree well ahead of schedule, at the age of 20 after 2.33 years of college. Apparently the overachieving quality is alive and well in the next generation. It is a great quality if kept in check. Fortunately, she has support that understands the negative outcomes of unchecked overachieving behavior; me. This education milestone is huge in many ways. Do you remember as a youngster the desire to be grown up and actually done with required school? Then, do you remember the array of feelings that arrived when that day came? I remember my dominant feeling was excited confusion. Entering adult working life for the first time with the training that I just completed in the world of Occupational Therapy at the age of 22 was exciting. It was also confusing because I kept asking, “Is this it? Have I arrived at adulthood? Now what?” Now that I am 22 years into adulthood, I giggle as my daughter, Kenzie, asks the same questions. My response is, “Yes, my dear one, you have arrived! Now it is up to you to make the most out of every day in this new adult world.”
As she was growing up I was fascinated by her ideas of what her adult life would look like. Journaling is one of my regular joyful activities. I expanded on my writing efforts and created a diary of her life journey, which included her ideas and her favorite things over the years. I gifted Kenzie with this journal when she graduated high school. We read the entries together and laughed for hours. One entry in particular stands out concerning what was happening in the world and how she imagined adult life when she was the ever wise age of 5 and 1/4 years old. Enjoy!
October 27, 2001
There has been a great change in our country since I last wrote. On September 11, 2001 the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon were bombed by crashing airplanes into them after being hyjacked. Thousands of innocent people were killed. You understand that bad people stole the airplanes and killed nice people. It does not impact your daily life, however you love the American Flag and proudly say the pledge all by yourself now. Kindergarten is going well for you. You love your teacher and are no longer troubled with numbers or letters. Early reading has just begun, and you seem to like it so far. You continue to love your red sparkle shoes and wear them daily!
We went to the LEAF festival in Asheville, NC last weekend. You enjoyed a taste of freedom by attending story telling and then danced in a parade all by yourself. You made new friends with ease and checked in on me every once in awhile. I think you thought you were playing mom for a bit. We took showers in the big communal house for ladies only. You absolutely loved it, and wanted me to turn every shower on so you could run around naked through them all. I agreed to turn on three of them since we happened to be all alone. This pleased you greatly as you squealed with delight. How amazing it is to watch you be so free in your heart, mind and body.
You have so many gifts as a young girl. Your memory is amazing; especially for things you find important and life changing. Apparently having blood drawn was one of those important things, as you talk about the “noodle” that took your blood often. You are very social and make friends with ease. You like to play with all kids, but are definitely feminine by nature. You prefer dresses over anything and struggle to understand why shorts need to be worn under dresses when playing up side down on the playground. It is a daily discussion, but you relent because hanging upside down in a dress is most important to you.
Here are your answers to popular questions
- Why is the sky blue? “Because it is”
- Favorite color? “Red, I like that color a whole lot!”
- Favorite food? “Mac & Cheese”
- What is love? “When you love some one. Mommy and daddy love each other, because you fell in love and got married”
- Favorite toy? “Beany Babies” : you have about 30 of them
- Favorite movie? “All Ariel movies”
- Best Friend? “Peyton C.”
- When I grow up: “I want to be a teacher and a mommy. I want two kids and their names will be Cornelius and Thumbelina”
You have this wonderful morning ritual that you are certain to tell me and your daddy:
“Don’t talk to any strangers. Just talk to your patients. I will see you when I get home. Daddy, call Mommy and she will call you. I love you!”
I am overjoyed with her education accomplishments. Yet I am in awe of the child that has grown into an amazing woman who cherishes many of the simple joys of life like she did at the age of 5 and 1/4 years old. Keep celebrating the child within as you venture into the life as an adult!
Still celebrating life like a 5 year old