Hello 17: My 17 Wishes For My Girl

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In one more year, I will have two adults.  I won’t be able to say that I have two children.  Umm…that flew by.

Hello 17 one last time.  One last year of having a kid before she becomes a legal adult.

Happy 17th Birthday to my girl!  17 got here fast with speedy-beyond-belief-short years…and some long days as well.

My 17 wishes for my soon-to-be 17-year-old who probably won’t read this, but I will voice these things to her gradually as we proceed through yet another teen year.

So exciting.

So fun.

So challenging and hard at times.

These years with my last one is traveling at lightning speed.  Just like I knew it would.  So, this article is for us Mamas, too.

My 17 Wishes For My 17-Year-Old Girl

  1.  Don’t take for granted the sweetness of not being 18 yet.  At 18 the world shifts and then you will be 100% responsible for a lot of your choices. So strange when 18 comes around because suddenly you must give me permission to come into a doctor’s appointment with you.  Stuff like that.  I remember that with my son.  How everything changed overnight.  That was so weird to me.  So, enjoy not having the weight of it all on your newly adult shoulders when next year rolls around.  Not just yet.  Enjoy 17 even though you are in a rush to turn 18.
  2. Pace yourself.  17 is a busy year with SATs, college apps and more.  Take it one day at a time and remember to breathe.
  3. Please make good choices out there.  With one full year of driving under your belt that you did very well with, we are now letting you drive further distances.  Please be safe, smart and cautious.
  4. Continue to resist peer pressure that may be unwise choices. More freedom for you means more tricky situations out there to consider.
  5. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Today’s youth have so much pressure.  Keep your priorities in order and all will work out.
  6. Joy – let yourself feel pure joy without the pressures at times.
  7. Balance – balance that weekend hangout joy with the stress that comes with the Monday mornings exam.  Do what gives you balance — yoga, quiet time, screen break time, etc.
  8. Accountability – be accountable when you mess up. We all mess up.  We are all human.  We hope, as parents, that you leave our home with humility.  I think you will as I already see it at times and that makes me proud.
  9. Be proud!  It is hard to be proud when you are a self-doubting teen going through crazy hormone changes.  But you should be so proud.  You are rocking it in so many ways.
  10. Spend time with your Lucy girl kitty.  Soon you will leave and she will wonder where her girl went.
  11. Exercise.  It helps all of us in so many ways.  Some days I only have time to go up and down the stairs multiple times.  I feel better when I get moving.
  12. Enjoy that tasty teen fast food, but in moderation. Your body is your temple.  Feed it well.
  13. Remember to be gracious.  You sure have an army of love in your court. Your village is full, adoring and is made up of amazing family and friends of all ages.  You are lucky.  You are blessed.
  14. Try to put yourself in your parents’ shoes at times.  Our job is complicated and teens don’t come with instructions.  We place limits to keep you as safe as we can because we love you more than life itself.  More than all the stars.  More than infinity. Words can’t be found to describe just how much we love you.
  15. Keep your faith.  We have understood that your schedule many times prohibits organized faith time for you and we understand.  Your faith is your personal story, but keep it intact.
  16. Forgive us when we seem like crazy overbearing parents.  We are letting go more and more and it is one of the hardest parts of parenthood that this Mama has felt.
  17. Enjoy being you!  You are our beautiful-inside-and-out, cute-one-dimpled, talented, organized, driven, perfectionist girl who is turning into a vibrant and confident young woman right before our very eyes!  On this 17th birthday, celebrate being you…our Alexis Elizabeth…our incredible gift from above.

17 years later I still pinch myself when I look at you and your big brother.  17 1/2 years ago I cried out in joy when the ultrasound tech told us that she spotted a little girl in there.  17 years later I remember not hearing you cry the first few seconds you were born and I held my breath asking, “where is her cry” and then feeling on top of the world when I heard it!  My heart rejoices even now when I reflect on the most special memory later that day when your cute 4-year-old big brother arrived in his “big brother” t-shirt with pink flowers for Mommy and to meet his little sis.  How completely awesome it is that you two are close now.

On this 17th birthday please know that I know that these two phrases I spotted last month ring so true in my head and in my heart…

And this next nugget below…oh how I know you will be here soon, but not quite yet at 17….so I am preparing for this and you are right on schedule with your growth as I watch you work hard, strive towards your goals and take in all the teenage fun, too.  So this part of my job that will come soon enough and will be the most bittersweet part yet, I think. I take a deep breath, read this, reflect and do my best to finish up over the next 1 1/2 year before you leave us for college.  Yep, take a look at this below…and Happy Happy 17th Birthday my love.


  1. maryanne Mildner says:

    brought a tear to my eye (especially when you described your anxious fear before you heard those first cries.)

    …and I believe your girl will read this list, maybe just out of curiosity, but she gets it! Her life’s journey is just beginning and everything you have given her thru the years, including this thoughtful, loving list, are the gifts she carries with her wherever she goes.

    Happy Birthday, Alexis!