My mom posted on Facebook the other day, as countless moms posted their child’s first day of school pictures, that this will be the first year in 25 years that she doesn’t have a child starting school, and the first year in almost 27 years that she doesn’t have a child in dance classes. Willow, the youngest of our bunch, has graduated high school and had her last dance recital! *cue tears and “how the time flies” cliches*. But foreal, time flies! Willow is 18 (!!!) and headed of to The College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine in just two weeks where she will take off her dancing shoes and put on her “Human Ecology”/Environmentalist shoes and start her college education!
Willow is many things. She is tall and she is beautiful, as everyone can see in these images and the countless images I post of her, but she is much more than that! She has overcome a lot in her 18 years, and though she is still young and has so much more life ahead of her, she seems to have turned out pretty okay. 😉 There isn’ t a perfect teenage out there, we all know that, but she’s definitely my favorite teenager. She is smart. She is funny. She thinks I’m funny (which is one of the best things about her, obviously.) She is passionate. She is quiet and reserved and loud and outgoing at the same time. She is loved.
Willow, this is the part of your life where you are on your own more than you have ever been in your 18 years. At the risk of sounding like a mom, here I go with some college bound advice. Make good choices. Call Mom. If you need help, ask. Don’t jump off the bridge because all of your friends did (peer pressure and all that jazz). If your friends can’t handle you being different than them, they aren’t your friends. It’s okay to be weird. Care about people. Be a quality friend, even if it’s not always reciprocated. Dad is probably right. Cultivate a relationship with God and talk to Him even when it’s hard or not the cool thing to do, because when everyone else bails – He won’t. Don’t learn that the hard way. You’ll likely make some friends that will be in your life for the rest of your life. Choose wisely. Remember that I love you and I will drive 16 hours to be there any day of the week if you needed me.
Your Big Sister – Emily