This young woman was my child. She came into the world 18 years ago today, two weeks ahead of schedule, already anxious about the possibility of being late.
This young woman bangs a heavy drum. She came into the world quietly, sat there silently, suspiciously sizing up everyone and everything. In time, she found her rhythm, and tapped it out everywhere she went, on anything she could.
This young woman is a firelight. Her smile can warm and brighten an entire room. Her laughter is infectious. And when she decides to flick the switch, the cold and dark returns.
This young woman is a shape shifter. She’s small enough to sleep on one cushion of the couch. And her attitude can be big enough to take up every ounce of air in the room.
This young woman is a warrior. Able to shoulder double her weight, and unafraid to speak her mind in any kind of company. She is unshakable. Her strength is in her conviction.
This young woman is compassionate. She never fails to defend the defenseless and side with the oppressed. She still believes that life should be fair. And just. She demands justice.
This young woman is my teacher. She has a certain way of pointing out my inconsistencies and indiscretions like no one else can. I am her reluctant student.
This young woman is my friend. Snuggling on the sofa, sharing music, movies, and memes with me. She has a sick and twisted sense of humor that is home.
This young woman is my inspiration. She bravely faces her obstacles head on, manages the monsters in her mind, and makes the best of every bad situation. Pother and pandemic be damned.
This young woman is my hope. She is determined to live in a world that is kind and inclusive, equitable and decent.
So she will see to it. She won’t have it any other way.
This young woman is my heart. She is my love, my light, my inspiration. My rhythm, my champion, my challenger. She is early, anxious, brave and bright. She is twisted, compassionate, loud and strong. And now, she is eighteen.
This young woman was my child.