Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Grown Up

To Little Cuter, with love.

All of a sudden they are grown-ups.
You plan for it.  You set standards and expectations and examples.  You know it's coming.  You see the signs of maturity and you applaud them, encourage them, delight in them.  It's a gradual process most of the time.

Unless you get shot.

All of a sudden they are grown-ups.  They rush to your bedside and monitor your machinery. They hold your foot for an hour and don't complain - instead they laugh with you and try to distract you and they comfort you and, for a while, they are in charge and you are basking in the wonderfulness, the warmth, the excellence of being cared for by someone who gets you, who knows you, who loves you.

It comes on like that last sentence, all in a rush.  Like the spring run-off from the mountain tops that turns the dry-for-eleven-months Rillito into a 9' deep raging torrent, you are floating on an unstoppable current.  Along with the discarded sofas and engine parts riding atop the rapids, there you are, carried into the future with your once-and-never-again baby leading the way.
It's not an easy ride.  Not everyone has a clearly delineated door through which to pass.  More often than not I think it's a slide into a new role until one morning you wake up and find yourself in a house in the suburbs with a station wagon, two kids and a dachshund.  TBG may try to assuage the anguish with a Honda del Sol, but you're still there, facing the fact that somehow, without quite being aware of it, you've become an adult.

But sometimes life conspires to make that transition more abrupt.  You may pay your own bills and have a dog and a cell phone in your own name but your self-image is still stuck somewhere around 7.  And then, one day, you get a phone call in Target and you spring into action.  Airlines, pet boarders, parking lot attendants - get out of your way.  You are a woman on a mission, a person with a purpose, and you will use all the resources at your disposal to complete the task.

Watching someone as she passes over the threshold between her childhood and her future is an awesome thing.  She's right : she's sitting at the grown-up's table now.  She's brought her invitation to the party and we're welcoming her right in.  She's paid her dues, and left a trail of glistening stars behind her.  We are proud of her, but no more than she is of herself.

And isn't that a good definition of a competent adult: 

Someone who (with good reason) is proud of the person she's become.


  1. What a good girl she is! She always was, and this awful mess has made it so clear. Wish I had met and gotten to know her during her college career instead of at its end. xoxo

  2. I was so impressed with LC as she responded to and handled the events of January...and since. Eloquent, kind, humorous, responsible,'s a very long list, Mom. And, with it all, comes the fact that we fell in love with our children no later than the very day they were born and we fall in love with them again every day we live.

    To be in love with someone we also admire deeply and owe tremendous gratitude to...well, you could dedicate every post to her LC, BC, and TBG and still, you would not have scratched the surface.

  3. Okay Suzi, so I have been "lurking" reading your posts and not commenting, but commiserating and intending to send your a note when enough time had passed. But talking about Murphy really did me in...almost did it when you talked about soccer in Ukiah - remembering how much we cheered when they scored a goal. The team had hopelessly lost the tournament, but it was their first score of the season and we were so excited. I am so proud of our little girls, and your resilience of spirit. Much love from your long lost friends in Tiburon, the Smartts. Our hearts are with you in spirit.

  4. Ashleigh Burrows, You have done an excellent job raising Big Cuter & Little Cuter into fine upstanding individuals. Obviously, the apples do not fall far from the tree. Job well done !
    Sorry I have not commented on your blog posts the past couple of days but I have been dealing with my little boy (He is grown up to 6 feet 1 inches now) graduating from high school this June and leaving for college in the fall. A/B, where does all the time go ? It went so fast from watching my son Alex learning how to walk to graduating high school and going off to college. I hope everything I have instilled in him along with my ex-wife will guide him in his life now as he explores the world around him. I guess it is the only thing we can hope for as parents of a child(ren).
    Second, the dedication of the Christina Taylor Green Memorial River Park looked wonderful. I am so happy the Pima County Board moved so quickly in renaming the River Park in her memory. What a fitting tribute to a young girl who was so full of Life, Patriotic, a talented Little League baseball player, and always considerate of the less fortunate. Also, the slogans on the cookies (Hope, Dream, and Make A Difference)were the perfect touch to the celebration. Yes, everyone we can make a difference in anyone lives just by practicing what Christina wanted for our local communities, states, and even our nation. She will remain an inspiration to future generations in what one person can do to facilitate change in our society.
    Finally, I hope your recovery is progressing well. God Bless you, TBG, BC, LC, your family, and the Green family (John, Roxanna, & especially Dallas Green, Jr.)

  5. Even as an adult, I still see myself as a child when dealing with my parents. It's not until one has kids of their own that you realize that your parents were really good parents. Little Cuter is amazing because she has amazing parents.

  6. A very touching encomium to your Little Cuter, who no doubt, deserves every single deeply felt praise from her adoring, loving mom...debbie


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