Every once in awhile I stop and take a bit of time to think about how much our lives have changed over the last few years. So many changes!
It all started when my incredibly handsome son, Devon, announced to us shortly before his 18th birthday that he was joining the Marine Corps. That was a surprise, especially because Devon was not particularly fond of discipline, which I hear is kind of a big deal in the Corps. I was so proud of him that day. He'd actually taken the time to research it, and planned his approach to both his parents (who were very supportive) and his extended family (who mostly thought he was a bit nuts). But he told everyone in no uncertain terms that it was his choice and he was asking for their support, not their permission. He left for boot camp a boy, and I swear to you, he came back a man (or at least well on his way). And now you're married to beautiful, amazing Ashley. You are a lucky guy!
My oldest daughter, Amanda, graduated from high school shortly thereafter and began college. She has dreams and goals, and continuously works towards them. She loves to write, and is constantly working on a variety of stories and ideas. Amanda is a wonderful daughter, and over the last 2-3 years, has begun the shift from daughter to daughter and friend. I love spending time with her, and I can completely see us hanging out, going to chick flicks (our idea of a chick flick is Transformers), musicals, and just talking. And can I just say that she's also the best big sister on the planet, and has been a lifesaver over the last couple of years - always available to help with her younger sister.
And exactly 16 months ago, my youngest daughter began her biggest challenge when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 10. Just so we're clear, type 1 diabetes does not define Sarah - at all. In fact, I am most proud of the fact that she has overcome so much and lives her life with the closest thing to normalcy possible. She's a busy kid. She spends 3+ days per week in theater practice, and another in voice lessons. She loves traveling, and board games, and basil quesadillas. She has a wicked fast sense of humor, is becoming fluent in sarcasm (kind of a requirement in this family), and has an absolutely beautiful singing voice that is improving all the time.
And last week when we were discussing managing her diabetes, she blew me away. We were talking about how important it is for her to be responsible, and vigilant - because she was preparing to spend the week at a school friend's house and art camp, where she'd be 99.9% responsible for her own care. I told her to try not to look at diabetes as a problem, but rather, as a challenge. And Sarah looked at me and said, in all seriousness, "Mommy, I don't look at it as a problem or a challenge. I look at diabetes as an opportunity." She went on to tell me how much it meant to her to help other kids with diabetes. She wants to be a good role model, and show other kids how they can live full, happy, healthy lives with diabetes.
And to my three children, I love you all more than life. I am incredibly proud of all three of you. Wow... I'm a seriously lucky mama!