On 18th birthdays, graduations and absent auras

Tess and Morgan Collage for 18th and Graduation

I’ve had a Solomon-like task today because, albeit I haven’t had to cut any babies in half, both my daughters are celebrating milestones on this Sunday 19th May 2013.

My youngest daughter, Morgan, is 18 years old today (Yaay!) and my oldest daughter, Tess, graduates from college today in the United States (Yaay!).

The dilemma was that it is now the custom on each of my children’s milestone birthdays for me to write a post in honour of that fact. It never occurred to me that birthdays might clash with other milestones where my words are really the only gift I want to, well, gift.

Then I remembered two things. The relationship these two girls have forged together – through some tough times; and the man these two girls have in common…their father.

God, Bronson was proud of his girls and he would have floated on air today with happiness – and probably why I cannot get away from his aura on this milestone day.

And maybe that’s only fitting and right because he would not have differentiated. He would have found a way, uh huh Solomon-like, to be in two places at the same time to honour both his girls. It was then easy seeing this dilemma through his eyes. Because what I feel for my daughters have him and the same words in common.

Tess and Morgan, to say I am proud of the two of you is weak and trite. I am awed by the two of you.

And awed by the journey you have both navigated to find each other especially in the absence of your father.

Becoming a blended family is never easy – as you both proved at times – and two Daddy’s Girls vying for the same space makes it even more difficult. But you both came to understand that the first man in your life loved you both the same where that was the right thing to do, and differently as your two personalities and needs demanded it.

Even on the occasions you felt that he may not have been there when most needed, he always was. Tessie, you now know how devastated your father was the two of you did not live in the same country during some of those formative years when it matters most to a developing girl. Morgan, your father did not act ‘out of character’ when he met your first boyfriend on a very formal footing – something you have never forgotten. He did his job.

Girls, your father put in the work necessary to show the two of you his depth of feeling, love and respect.

This is the basis of the message I want you to remember today as you now forge into the world as young adult women. Of the men you meet, query whether they put in the work necessary to earn your respect. The simple work of listening to you so you know you are heard. That you are loved.

My daughters, I am awed by your beauty, in and out; your strength in making sure this family stays blended; and I am heart achingly full of my brave girls this Sunday 19th May 2013.

Happy 18th birthday, Morgan.

Happy graduation day, Tessie.

I love you both, and trust that Daddy is looking down on his three girls today and how far we’ve come.

My love today and always. Mx