I had to wait to get on the computer, because the girls were doing their homework after all of their other things. So, I won't have the time to do this justice, but I'll still give it the old college try. It's Coadster's 17th birthday, so here's my letter to her:
Dear Coadster the Roadster, Mijita, Changita,
As you begin your final year as a minor, there are so many things I want to tell you. I wish you could learn from all of my mistakes, but I know that's not how it works. You have to make your own and get hurt and be sad, no matter how much it kills me to see it. I'm worried that I haven't prepared you for forging your way into your journey as an adult. But I also know that you've had more common sense than I have since you were born. A wonderful side effect of your control issues, is that you have to thoroughly research any new situation or experience before you begin it. I've learned so much from you because of that.
I know we've talked about this several times throughout your life, but you don't have to be super woman. It isn't your job to fix the world by yourself. Most of the problems were here before you were born and they'll most likely be here after we're all gone. It's okay to leave some of the work for someone else now and again. Sure, they probably won't do it right, as far as you're concerned, but it will be just fine.
You've been so lucky to find most of your passions at such an early age. You were singing before you could talk, and as far as I remember, you were crazy about politics and sports since you were in 2nd grade or so. Your stubbornness and love of the underdog, makes you the perfect Cubs fan. I hope you figure out a way to make your living teaching music and coaching soccer. If anyone can, you will.
Remember to take the time to rest and relax. When you were little and you got too overwhelmed, we would work on your breathing, and as you got into junior high, you learned to give yourself a time-out and listen to music to calm down. Don't forget that little trick. If I know you, it's something that will come in handy when you're in college and after.
You've always been a "grass is greener" girl. Wherever you were, somewhere else looked better. In grade school, you wanted to be in high school and all throughout high school, you've been dreaming of going away (as far as you can get) to college. If there is one thing you really need to work on, I'd say it was to learn to be happy where you are. You'll miss some of the best parts of your experiences, by looking over them to the next one.
This last year with you, I promise to appreciate the hell out of you and work on making you an independent woman. All those years of going through stages, butting heads, struggling with all the practical matters of parenting and laughing at and loving all of the wonderfully quirky parts of you, have led us to this point. The point where I finally look at you as not just my daughter, but as an amazing person completely separate from me. I feel like the luckiest mom in the world to get to go through all of this with you.