“She’s growing up so fast.” “She is a lovely young lady.” “She is so mature.” These are just a few comments friends and family have made about our daughter Victoria.
We recently celebrated Victoria’s Quinceañera, a Latin American tradition celebrating the 15th birthday of a young woman. The day started with a Mass of Thanksgiving in which we gave thanks to God for the many blessings in our lives and for the joy in our hearts because we have seen this child of God grow into a mature young woman.
“Young Woman?!” I must admit this is hard for me to say. It feels like just yesterday we were cradling this baby in our arms. Where has the time gone? We can still remember her playing with her toys or helping her tie her shoes or just her coming to us when she was afraid of a thunderstorm in the middle of the night. How we miss that.
But looking back and seeing her now, we realize what many around us have seen all along, but we did not want to admit. She is not a baby anymore, nor is she a child. She is a young woman. As hard as that may seem to accept, it is true.
We realize that as she grows, we need to grow along with her. We are learning to let go (a little at a time), and we pray that God continues to bless her with the grace she needs to live a faithful adult life.
Gabriela Contreras is the director for meeting planning for Women of the ELCA.