I don’t think my daughter ever played dress-up.

She had some gypsy stuff and leftover Halloween costume props that would surface as perfectly acceptable school accessories, but she never walked around in my heels or wanted to wear my work clothes.

Now I know why.

Katlyn is my oldest and today she turns twenty-three. She has one semester, one class actually, left until she graduates and she now has a full-time job working for the Mayor of Phoenix.

She dresses up every day and seems a little pissed there aren’t tiaras or animal crackers in a cup as a morning snack.

I’m not really one to say “time flies” because it didn’t. I was there through her Band-aids, braces, boys, and boobs, in no particular order. She’s grown into the woman she is today gradually, which is a good thing because she has never, ever, ever wanted to grow up.

If someone asks Katlyn what time in her life she would want to go back to, she quickly says, “All the way back to naptime. Like, when walking and going in the potty were big accomplishments for the day.”

She’s funny. Our first born, our family’s first everything. First to high school, first to leave the house, the first apartment.

She leads reluctantly, which is interesting because her younger siblings hate standing in line. They’ve done everything to push and prod their way into adulthood.

Katlyn would happily stand aside and let them pass if that were possible, but it’s not. She is a grown woman, whether she likes it or not, and so far she’s brilliant at it.

It is a fascinating experience watching a child grow into a woman. There are times I’ll catch an expression on her face, and she seems eight years old again. And then there are moments she will tackle something, make a choice, and I’m so excited to learn more about this new and evolving person standing in front of me.

Parenthood is a mixed bag. It is not for the faint of heart, but there are times the sheer joy of bearing witness to all that is possible puts a smile on my face that can last for hours.

Katlyn Day, you are a light, a stunning “young” woman. May you never lose sight of the importance of a nap and the small accomplishments even in your adult life.

Happy Happy Birthday!

That’s all from the laundry room. Let’s Watch a Movie.


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4 Comments Leave a comment

  1. A wonderful tribute to what certainly sounds like an outstanding young woman. My (newly) 18 year old daughter has also always been reluctant to grow up too quickly. When her friends were experimenting with make-up and mooning over boys, she was still playing dolls and coloring. Now she is a HS graduate with a part time job and college starting in a few weeks. She is grown up now, but I’m glad she hung on to the little girl as long as she could. I still get a glimpse now and then too! 😊

  2. I love birthday stories–this was a good one, Tracy. My #3 grandchild just turned 10 and I can already see her as a young adult. I don’t want her to grow up too fast–thank goodness, her 5 year old little sister still has a ways to go!

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