I lost it a little.

My oldest son turned 18 on Saturday. My second adult child. My girl is 19 for a couple more months and then she will no longer have teen attached to her age.

The older kids were going out for his birthday. First to yard sales, then breakfast, to do some shopping and just hang out as young people do.

And as my daughter came to kiss my good-bye…

It happened.

The tears started flowing and she had a sort of slightly panicked look.

"What's wrong??"

"I'm sorry – didn't mean for you to see this- I didn't know this was even going to happen," I said as I tried to hold back the tears that came without warning and explain what I wasn't really sure about until that very minute.

See, this was a Saturday and it was party day. This is the day I put on the birthday. I'd be up early cleaning the house and making food and today…

Josh and I were left at home alone.

I realized at that moment that I am not the center of their world anymore.

I'm still a part, but not like I used to be.

We could have have a party, but that's not what he wanted. We will have a family dinner, but it has to be tonight because the older kids both have conflicting job schedules and time together takes a lot more planning.

And it's hard.

I now wish I had spent more time at home at with my parents. My momma used to watch my friends and I get ready and she never asked us to just stay.

Maybe I wish she had because maybe I would have.

And I won't ask because I don't want my kids to do things out of guilt.

They are meant to fly.

This is how it's supposed to be.

But it's hard.

I love that they like to hang out together and have things to do and cars to drive and friends and jobs and lives.

They are amazing and I had a part in that because I am their mom.

A hard part of being mom to amazing kids is watching them be amazing without you.

How can something be both breathtaking and steal your breath all at the same time?

However, I want say to young moms who are posting pics of two-year olds lamenting the fact they are growing fast -which they are, because they do- please do not dread them getting older.

Because it's incredibly fun and if you waste all your time dreading it, you will miss it.

Seeing your little people become their own people is something indescribable.

Having real conversations and deep insights into who they have become is priceless and precious.

Instead of dreading, embrace.

Embrace the stage. Cherish the chaos, be glad for the tiredness, the mess, the tears, and the loud. Not all get the privilege.

Relish babies sleeping on your chest, the running and tugging of littles, the hugs of sweaty, stinky tween boys and the kisses on the head by ones way taller than you.

Sit on her bed and talk about dreams and memories and watch her put on makeup. Shut the door and eat Chipotle and watch re-runs of shows from her childhood.

Because it's far from over.

It's another beginning.