Lauren will be 20 years old this weekend. She will have lived with me for all 20 years. No one-I mean no one-not my parents, sister, ex-husband, or other daughters made it for 20 years with me. In fact, I can’t think of anything that lasted 20 years-some good dogs and horses made it maybe 12 or 13 years. But no one, pet or family has lasted 20 long years living with me. Okay-went off on a little rant there. This is really about Lauren.
Just as I do not see myself growing older, nor do I see that my daughter is getting older as well. Very little could have brought this to the forefront like the arrival of Lauren’s junior high school best friend from Canada the other night. Megan and Lauren met at Whipple Tree Farm, sharing a love for horses. Megan’s family had just moved here and had been shuttled around the globe a little bit with her father’s job. Lauren had been here a few years, but in many ways was still the ‘new kid’. Honestly, they were both a little dorky and immediately found a true friend in one another. They had a couple of great years, learning each other’s nuances and spending as much time together and on horseback as they could. It shattered both of their lives when Megan’s family made the difficult decision to move home to Canada that summer of their eighth grade year.
Like most of us, they have kept in touch through their Facebook adventures and emails. They have made it through first boyfriends, high school and started college. But they have remained friends.
This trip has been in the planning stage for many months as they counted down the time until Megan would arrive. Megan came to spend spring break in the relatively balmy atmosphere of south Texas from Calgary. I was shocked when I saw her. In the place of my daughter’s best friend was this beautiful, poised, worldly young women. I looked up at Lauren. Had she changed before my eyes as well? She looked the same to me. And yet I realized on this eve of her 20th birthday that she, too, had grown up. My little girl was forever changed, morphed and molded into a new adult human being. Like Megan, she had become beautiful, poised and worldly too, at least as far as a girl from Wharton, Texas can become.
I am proud of these girls (women??-OMG-they must still be girls!) that have managed to sustain their friendship over the many miles and many more years. Tonight they head to the rodeo, not covered in mud or dressed in horseback riding clothes but dressed as young women out on the town.
It took seeing Megan to realize my daughter had changed, grown and developed into a her own person. I mean if Megan had changed so much and she had been such a part of Lauren, did it not follow that Lauren must have changed as well?
Happy Birthday, baby! You will always be my baby girl but I am so proud of the women you have become as well! It just took seeing your best friend for me to accept that you have become a grown up.