I’m sitting in the dark, quietness of a hotel room in Kansas City, KS waiting for the early hours to pass, so that I can call my oldest kid and wish her a Happy Twenty-First Birthday. My mind is reflecting back to snippets of time and places where I can see my daughter for who she really is and who she has become. I see Her laughing in the backyard, playing Harry Potter with neighborhood friends. She sings loudly from the front row at her pre-school Christmas concert, unaware of her volume (or pitch). She cuddles up under a blanket and reads an entire book in a day. These are the memories of one of my favorite people in the world. And, today, she turns 21.
It’s fitting that I wait as the sun rises, since this is a sunrise age for her, personally. Being 21, especially in America, is a year of liberation. She’s “drinking age”, and all that come with that. She is also allowed to be her own person and such like never before. For me, however, 21 is about being liberated from the last confines our society regulates. I am for all the rules we place on emerging adults, so please don’t think I am suggesting my daughter is “free” from chains of governmental regulation. Yet, she is now to a point where she gets to be released as an adult and given the freedoms within it. That excites me for her. That makes me proud, as I have seen her appropriately meet every expectation that is placed on her. She is truly ready to be an independent adult.
Young people today call it “adulting.” Adulting is where you show qualities or characteristics of a mature person by taking on actions or responsibilities in which are seen at mature or adult-like. Grace will no longer be acting like an adult. It isn’t a role that needs to be played, but a state of who she is and what she is about. She IS an adult.
Sure, there will be mistakes, immature decisions, impulses of childlike flashbacks, but that is part of being an adult, too. And, as someone who is halfway through his life already, I find myself dealing with the same issues in my adulthood.
The sun is up and I can see through the window that it is going to be an amazing day. It will be sunny, clear and beautiful But, I didn’t even need to crack the shade to know this. It’s my daughter’s 21st birthday–what else kind of day would it be?