My Maddie turned 18 on the 27th (just last Wednesday...I know, I'm behind). Sterling and I got up early, ahem ... 5:30 AM, to make her breakfast before seminary (normally we are still asleep when she leaves...cuz we are bad parents). Anyway, as I was waiting on the hashbrowns to brown I checked my e-mail on my phone. At the top of the list was an e-mail from Walgreens. The title was "Madison has been removed from your account." I clicked on the title and this little gem appears:Dear Sarah,
Madison Jones has been removed from your Family Prescriptions account because he or she has turned 18 years old. As a result, you can no longer access Madison's pharmacy records and manage his or her prescriptions.
Really Walgreens? Have you no soul? No empathy? No compassion? Must you taunt me in such a cold, cruel manner? And I just want everyone to know, I've spent ALOT of money at Walgreens over the past 18 years. Like, enough to redo my living room in the chic, yet cozy, contemporary eclectic style I've come to admire. Enough to put a sizeable down payment on a luxury vehicle. Heck, maybe enough to buy the whole darn vehicle. And yet, YET! Walgreens chose to destroy my flimsily held illusion that my baby was still a baby. On her birthday. I don't think I'll every be able to forgive them for that.
Madison found out just a few days before her birthday that she had officially been admitted to BYU. I know this sounds super snotty (this is an ode to Madison, remember?), but there was never any real question that she would get in. She has always been a hard worker when it comes to academics. And it doesn't hurt that this kid has the mind of a steel trap. Nothing brought that home to me more than her recent oral surgery. After the surgery, on the ride home, suffering from the after effects of the IV sedation, she was INCREDIBLY loopy...talking some serious crazy talk...and in the midst of this (wherein she declared she was a "STRONG AND INDEPENDENT WOMAN") she was also throwing off facts and quotes like no one's business. She told me the exact scripture verses she had recited that morning in seminary. She remembered the exact level and parking spot where we had parked at the oral surgeon's office -- and chastised me for not remembering. She was recalling movie titles and old friend's names. And yet...she bawled like a baby when she remembered that she didn't have as much time to play the piano as she would like. It was a difficult time, and I'll just leave it at that. Also, there is a video.
I was interested to see how this year would play out, the year when Maddie would be the oldest. She's had to play number two child (only 14 months younger than Jordan) for her whole life. I think this year on top has been good for her, but I can't offer up a whole list of observations or anecdotes, because she's spent most of her time on the run. She's either at school, or choir, or church, or piano, or fish club, or out with friends. She has taken on a lot of responsibilities this year, and she takes these commitments VERY seriously. So seriously in fact that in her post-wisdom-teeth-loopy state, she insisted she drive to Walmart to pick up brown lunch sacks for a Fish Club activity. And while I can see that all of this commitment makes her tired -- as in exhausted -- I'm happy to see her plan, commit, follow through, and even suffer the consequences. Because just as Walgreens finds her old enough to manage her own prescriptions (dumb), I can see her growing in ways that will make her a successful college student, and missionary, and citizen, and employee, and wife, and mother.
In terms of downright honesty, I will let you in on the little known fact that Madison leaves her STUFF all over the house. Those tangly white headphones, books, miscellaneous papers, and hoodies take up residence downstairs, and everywhere really. Also, she leaves her laundry in the laundry room for simply inexcusable periods of time. And...she can be pretty darn grumpy in the early morning hours. But, other than those negligable faults, I'd have to say Maddie is a true star. She is thoughtful and earnest and cares so much (too much really) about the feelings of others. She is super fun...and funny...and has this surprising mischievous side that I outwardly discourage but secretly find amusing. She always wants to do the right thing and is so appreciative of everything we do for her. I can unequivocally say that Madison has been a bright spot in our lives since that rainy day 18 years ago when she made a quick and fantastic entrance into our family. I think back on those early years -- when I was a young, inexperienced mom with two small babies. Sterling was traveling a bunch with work back then, so often it was just me and Jordan and Madison. Sometimes the remembering hurts...I miss those baby girls so much. But mostly, the remembering amazes me. They are still the same sweet, fiery girls that baptized me into motherhood with a torrent of needs and demands and tears and the most beautiful of spirits. And now? I can see the smallest piece of an incredible arc...from infancy to young adult, from toddling to running, from board books to calculus, I've seen all of this...and so much more...and I realize how precious and exquisite is this life we live...and how much more there is to learn and accomplish and be. That is the gift my Madison has given to me.
Happy Birthday Madison!