From the moment you tell the world you are pregnant, everyone tells you:

“It goes fast!”
“Enjoy every moment!”
“Don’t blink or you’ll miss it!”

I blinked. I blinked and suddenly Tess is 16. A junior in high school and fervently planning her future and making strides to leave the nest. How did this happen? I only blinked.

School started this week for the American High School and, as always, Tess was packed & ready the night before. Only with her can I rely on an easy morning. Up on time. Ready on time. Off to school on time. The boys? Any of them? Nope. But Tess, she was born ready.

This year is especially exciting for her. She’s seen the light. She wants school, education, a future. She has found her groove and it is art.  You can imagine my pride. I’m bursting at the seams! Not just because I have an artist, but because I have a self-motivated teen. A teen who has found her path and has done her research on how to walk it.

So there’s my pride, my happiness, my joy. And then there’s the little, but very loud, voice inside my head. Screaming at the top of its’ lungs to slow down time. To bring me back my little Tessa. My baby. The one who still needs me. Forget pride, give me my little girl who needs me!

Luckily I can keep that voice quiet. I can be proud. I can support this beautiful young woman and watch her spread her wings and get ready to fly. I can do this, I can.

But damn, I wish I hadn’t blinked.

and just like that… she’s a JUNIOR!

Bright sun & all, still willing for that first day photo ❤

Minimal eye rolling. I’ll take it.

Throwback: First day of Kindergarten 2006