The joy of being a parent!

solo shot of justine
solo shot of justine
having the time of her life at 18!
having the time of her life at 18!
Justine ( standing) with her college friends
Justine ( standing) with her college friends

(written last January 30, 2008)

..." and i dont know whether to laugh or cry....

hahaha. today is my youngest daughter's 18th birthday. OMG. She's now a young lady!

anyway, getting inside the car this morning, ( i always bring her to CSB (her school) every day, you know, the typical-driver-mom) donned on her fave immaculate white, and kinda tight shirt , paired with this oh, wow...screaming yellow ( skinny-like) slacks, that matched her silver high-heels , and a black & white (checkered) ralph lauren bag ( which is mine, by the way -- clutched on her right arm ...justine ( or jaja, as we fondly call her) has truly metamorphosed from a cutesy li'l naughty girl to an unbelievable young lady...( sniff,sniff. she was just a kid!!!)

mom, we're just like friends!!! was what she happily uttered...to which i quickly said with such enthusiasm, "i agree!!" ( i mean, thats suppose to be a compliment to me, right??? hahaha. i dont know if jaja realized what she actually said)

anyways, it feels liberating that at this point in my life, i can take some few steps back and look at my three daughters, and think, well...we've ( my husband and i) "survived" their growing up years. i know, i know...it hasnt stopped with age, them being 21 (faith), 20 (sarah) and now, justine (18) but at least, i can rest easy once in a while knowing fully well that all my girls can stand on their own - with the not so major things/decisions involved - but more their mobility, their small decisions, their "dates", their clothes, their food choices and the like. (wahoo! im free!)

its an achievement, i should say, to have watched them, guided them, fought with them! (you bet) And now that they're (some kinda) of age already, i just feel happy and proud and dandy (hahaha) and free and relaxed and relieved that for their "balance-life" it wont just be me and angel looking after them...but that they are already "partners" with us. the funny, but at times frustrating part though would be the big difference(s) in opinions. its a battle, a struggle when we agree to disagree, you know what i mean?

Ah well, thats the way it is, right? parenting NEVER STOPS. ( and it has to be "good" parenting at that)

I guess, as parents, our so-called "fears" for our children will never go away. they just change. the dimension(s) just go a bit deeper everytime, because now, it will involve MAJOR decisions, major fights, major disagreements.

But parenting has its major perks, too. Their achievements are your achievements. Their happiness, yours as well. Their successes, yours to celebrate too.

Its a see-saw kinda thing, if i were to illustrate it. Youve got to have the right balance, the perfect timing and the "force" to fully enjoy the play. It doesnt have to be serious all the time. There's got to be a taste of fun tempered with a little yielding to make it all the more enjoyable.

To jaja, happy 18th birthday!!! Enjoy your independence!!!! (God bless you)

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