18 years old!!!

18 years ago, today i woke up and got ready to go to the hospital to have my first baby, asya. 

asya, as is still her habit, took her sweet time making her entrance 🙂

asya’s birth story, mercifully, was unremarkable as birth stories go.  being the older and wiser woman that i am now, i am so grateful for the relative ease with which she arrived in this world.  asya emerged into a world of love; surrounded by tons of extended family from both my and erim’s family.  even derin happened to be in istanbul for her spring break and was able to meet her niece within minutes of her birth.  

it would be impossible to fit all the adventures and learning that asya and i did together into just one essay; but believe me when i tell you that i have learned at least as much from being her parents as she has from being my child. 

as a small child asya had a constant refrain of “why mommy?” s. she asked question after question after question.  her curiosity and need for knowledge and clarity was insatiable.  and now, while the style of questioning may have changed, the need for answers and search for the “why” has not.  asya’s wondering has pushed me to question so many of my beliefs down to the basic core; and has even given me the courage to throw out things that don’t serve us as a family; we’ve all grown stronger for it.

keep asking the hard questions, kiddo. they will take you far. 

anyone who has spent time with asya knows she brings a sense of ease and lightness to a room.  her laugh is infectious and since her bedroom is right next to the kitchen, i often find myself laughing out loud right along with her as she reads or hears something funny.  i don’t actually know what’s funny, but her laugh is enough to bring joy to my soul.

her sweet nature also makes it impossible to say no to her! even when she asks for something difficult, i frequently find myself trying to figure out a way to say “yes” when “no” is really the only option 🙂

and so, this is 18.  how did it happen, i will never quite understand. time went by slowly and too fast all at once.  all the cliches about time flying apply.  and all the ones about how i’d go back and do it all again are also true.  

i wouldn’t trade a single sleepless night (and there were many); a fever induced trip to the emergency room; a teenage curfew battle or eyeroll for all the tea in china.  i have adored being asya’s mother and i can’t wait to witness the next chapter as young adult asya emerges.

i would be remiss to not mention the global pandemic and the hardships that have come with it this year.  asya has weathered the storm as patiently and gracefully as possible. i am proud and impressed with the strength and continued ease that she was able to display despite the many frustrations and disappointments she was forced to deal with. 

i am praying that his year will be better, and we will be able to send her off safely to georgetown in the fall. i hope for her to be able to arrive on campus to enjoy college life and thrive in the way i know she will. 

asiko, i love you so much and i am so proud of the beautiful, intelligent, sometimes silly, always kindhearted, animal loving, mega bts fan and loyal friend that you have become.  happy birthday, my sweet girl.