Tonight we’re celebrating one of our favorite people at one our favorite spots, Big Star Tacos.
Certainly, we’ll reflect on the swift passage of time as we hoist fresh margaritas and toast to our daughter Katherine’s 26th birthday.
Transcending the predictable parental pathos, though, will be the joyful acknowledgement that having an adult daughter rocks.
For those of you in the lucky throes of little girl parenting who are worried it’s all moving far too fast — here are five ways having a grown daughter is just as good as, and maybe even a little better than, having a cute little one.
1) Dresses. Once your daughter decides she’s too cool to wear those ruffled dresses with a big bow that ties in the back (and sadly, eventually, they all do), your life as a border patrol guard begins. You’ll spend years yanking hemlines down and necklines up, cursing all the while the fashion industry’s perverse need to make little girls look like frumpy harlots. Adult daughters buy their own dresses and, here’s the real kicker, sometimes they’ll even shop for yours.
2) Entertainment. I love Disney, but there’s a limit to how many times I can watch motherless princesses frolic through enchanted/misogynistic forests. The movies we watch, the books we read and the discussion they inspire have become infinitely more interesting as my daughters have aged.
3) Driving. I rued the day they gained their licenses and I lost the opportunity to drive my children to their various engagements. Strapped in next to me with no one and nothing else to distract them, they chatted easily and in full sentences. I’ve discovered, though, that I can strap myself in next to my adult children and chat amiably and in complete sentences while they navigate construction and find parking on crowded Chicago streets.
4) Tea Parties. The leg room is better, tea tastier and the food actually edible. Warm scones beat mud pies every time.
5) Big Star Tacos. You have to be 21 to get in.
I’ll be honest. Given the chance, I’d go back in a second, wrap her up in a big ruffled dress and binge watch Disney movies from the Little Mermaid to Beauty and the Beast, while sipping fake tea and eating mud pies.
I loved those tooth fairy, show-and-tell, American Girl, beaded socks, T-ball, dance class, swimming lesson, cookie baking days.
But, life moves forward and, as it does, I’m glad to have a funny, smart, adventurous, kind, loyal partner by my side.
Happy birthday Katherine.
It’s been a joy to be your mother and an honor to be your friend.