Jenna acts like she hates it when I call her my baby, but I secretly thinks she likes it. She knows it's a term of endearment and everyone knows the baby of the family holds a special place of honor in the line-up.
It was difficult when Kara went off to college, but not devastating, because we still had Jenna at home, and Kara wasn't all that far away anyway. She attended all four years at Defiance College. But when we dropped Jenna off at Manchester College, it was a solemn ride home. Our baby had flown the nest and that phase of our lives was now over.
We've enjoyed every phase of our daughters' lives, whether it was watching them perform in their Christmas programs at pre-school, helping with their 4H projects, teaching them good manners and proper grammar, or watching them go off to their senior proms. But this milestone was really tough. I have no doubt that it was equally hard on them, this leaving home stuff, even though they acted like they couldn't wait for it. It's always hard to step outside your comfort zone.
But life goes on, and there's always some new thing for us to enjoy about having children. Last summer, Kara got married and Jenna will do the same next May. And hopefully, there will be children for each of them in the future, which means we'll then be grandparents. We can't wait!
But today, it's Jenna's birthday. I called her this morning and since she didn't answer her phone, I left a message. I sang Happy Birthday to her and mentioned that 25 years ago right at that moment, I was in a world of hurt. (She wasn't born until 1:34 PM.) I did go on to say it was worth it though, just in case she was feeling guilty about that. ;-)
She called me back when I was browsing through the bulbs at Oakland Nursery. She was on her lunch break from work and Joe had cooked for her. She said she couldn't believe she was 25 years old, like she thought being twenty-five was old or something. On my 25th birthday, I was "Mom" to a 2½-year-old and a six-day-old newborn. And now that newborn is twenty-five herself.
We love you!