Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy Birthday

So, my darling daughter. You are all grown up. Eighteen years old is the last legitimate year of childhood-- there are after all, 18 year olds in high school. Nineteen is the start of adulthood, and you have leaped into it with both feet, postponing the usual middle class waystation of college. It is interesting how you and Julian have switched tactics-- always as a child, Seng Lim was ready for the next stage, sometimes before I was, while you were more cautious, or at least more willing to delay the next stage of maturity until it couldn't be avoided.

Now Seng Lim, at the threshold of independence, is more unsure and less independent than he has ever been, while you have embraced the unknown with a joy and maturity that make me very proud. I have often felt that I coddled and protected you, while letting Seng Lim stretch his wings. But it is Seng Lim who has tried to stay safe, and you who have jumped off the cliff, trusting the wind drafts to keep you aloft.

Keep flying. If the wind fails, I am here to catch you.

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