Today is the first time I’ve seen even an image of Dawn in over a week. I miss her beyond my own capacity to put into words. As I selfishly tear up I am struck in awe of several things.

My child looks so relaxed, at ease and happy. She is with people, others that are different from her and in some ways similar. She is learning to take responsibility for herself and to respond to other people.

It has always been much easier to simply shelter her and take care of all her needs. I struggled every day of her life to know when and where to step in and when and where to step out. With an average teen, I learned, they will tell you, “Get out of my room!” or “I can do it myself.” Dawn, simply allowed me to do what I knew best, be her mom. After the divorce I realized she needed to be grow into her independence as surely as I did.

I am so very proud of my daughter for taking on this adventure and doing it with grace and a style of happiness that is all her own.

I can’t wait to see her on Sunday.