Living the Sweet Life: Bittersweet Sixteen!

Victoria Ann Murray

Victoria Ann Murray

Well folks, she’s driving! Victoria Ann that is, and with this next level of growing up, I have found myself both overjoyed at the young woman we are so blessed to get to parent and scared silly all at the same time.

First of all, I do not know how time has flown so fast. It was, after all, just yesterday that we brought her home and started navigating through parenting. As I run a memory rolodex through months that then turn into years, I remember when she was seven-months-old and had her first anaphylactic reaction. We rushed her to the hospital barely breathing, and both Brian and I wondered how we would get her through childhood without that happening again. We did not have another episode until high school this year!

I remember when I waddled into the Sienna pool pregnant with James Edward, and she marched straight into the deep in clothes and all unable to swim. I remember when she looked me straight in the face, and while Brian was videotaping, she ripped a coloring book all the while checking out of the corner of her eye to see if I would notice. She has always been head strong, right in what she had her head set on and unwavering. Sound familiar? Hee hee!

I also remember how she looked at me when I took her to diaper Aerobics and taught her how to float, her talking through her “bott boot” (pacifier) and of course, taking her beloved “Tee” (teddy bear) everywhere. Then there were the ruby slippers that had to be worn every day – even to school – despite the rules! None of us at the Murray’s have ever been a big fan of rules, especially silly ones like having to wear tennis shoes instead of ruby slippers. I, in fact, argued this case and won permission for her to wear Little Mermaid costumes and ruby slippers to school. I mean, really, when else in your life can you?

Through the grades in school and piano, ballet and horseback riding lessons, I have attended and watched her get better and then achieve the goals she set for herself. She is smart. Oh, how I love her so much! The sleepovers, the mean girls and the first boyfriends. I think I have been the mother that my own mother and grandmothers would be proud of. I have picked my battles and chosen wisely, I think to argue over the big stuff and let the little things go by. My advice has come from Christian values and has been sound and unwavering. I trust her, and she knows what I expect her to be and do.

I am sad, though, despite this milestone of 16. I remember my Daddy threw me a party at the country club, and I found him later crying with a picture of me and him taken that day. He did the same thing when I left for boarding school at 17. I think it is in the knowing of what’s coming – her leaving us – that is the hardest to swallow as a parent. You want them to grow up, and they do, but when they do, you want to pull them closer even for just one more year, one more hug, you know.

Right now, I just want her to come home safe. She’s driving! Truthfully, she’s been driving me around for a year, but her, in that car alone, is an awful thing to bear. Nana used to sit up in her rocking chair and wait. She would wait right there until I came home. I have a feeling there’s a rocking chair in my very near future!


Take care of YOU!