Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Adulthood (07/30/09)
TITLE: To My Daughter
By Margaret Villanueva
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I remember countless times when you were an adolescent: “Mom, why can’t you treat me like an adult? I’m not a little girl any more!”
Those words, to me, seemed ludicrous at the time. How could you be more than my little girl? You were so full of life, full of fun, ready to take on the world and yet reluctant to clean your room, that I didn’t see the adult inside the child. And yet, you had to be an adult from an early age. Your father dead, your mother working, you were forced to do much more than most girls your age. When you were 16, you were expected to do what I could not, since I was at work. And you did it, for the most part, without complaint. You kept that locked inside you, to be dealt with at a later date.
The years passed. You married a man who loves you deeply, and the two of you rushed headlong into adulthood. From college to career in one fell swoop, you were behind your husband every step of the way, giving helpful nudges when needed, and assuring him of your love and support. When he was less than successful (not due to his fault, but to the circumstances), you helped him work through the situation and find an even better place. Now you are both content and happy in northern California, where you both are blooming. And you have your own family, complete with your precious son. The three of you work together to become the close-knit family that you missed growing up. I watch you at work, at play, being a mommy and being a wife, and I’m awestruck at how grown up you are. I know that there will come a day when Michael demands that you treat him as an adult, and I hope that you think of me on that day. I hope that you realize how hard it is to give up your child to the frightening world of adulthood.
Emily, you longed to grow up, to be treated as an adult. I think that you have learned that adulthood isn’t how you are treated; it’s how you live. I’m thankful that you’re my daughter, and I’m thankful that you are also my friend.
I love you,
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