Liam turned 18 months this month. My oldest niece Carolyn turned 18 years this year.
Having the cousins span almost a generation certainly gives me perspective I wouldn't otherwise have. I first met Carolyn 6 years ago and helped her with her drop-an-egg-from-10-feet-high science project. This weekend, she goes off to college!
A couple of months ago Liam and I went to her senior prom send-off and I got surprisingly teary. It's such a pivotal time in a person's life, and I remember it so clearly. When I was Carolyn's age, I came to New York for the first time and I have lived here ever since. I know not everyone's life undergoes such a big change at 18 but still, hundreds of thousands of kids all over the world are moving on up and out right now, and the steps towards independence began long long ago, at Liam's age and younger, with the first skipped feeding, the first roll over, the precariously held spoon, the wobbly steps, the endless declarations of "no!"
I remember being Carolyn's age very clearly, but it was as a mother that I got so teary at her prom send-off. One day that will be Liam! I know I know, I have loads of time, and although it will go fast, I'm sure at times it will seem to go really slow.
Still, these glimpses into the road ahead only strengthen my resolve to soak up every moment that I have now.
Have fun at college, Carolyn! You're going to do so well, I know, and I can't wait to hear all about it.
nyc baby, child and family photographer & architect alethea cheng fitzpatrick is based in brooklyn. she specializes in baby photography as interior design & interior design for babies. view her portfolio of babies, children or families or send her an e-mail here!