The teenage years are my favorite. No, seriously, stop laughing. Maybe I am a glutton for punishment, maybe I just like a challenge, but give me a teenage child every day of the week. In fact, I’ll even take a tween in a pinch. But you know what? Teenage girls are my favorite. I get make-up tips, help, and hand-me-downs. I’m kept current on great bands, and I don’t have to try to comb through ratty hair every morning and evening anymore. Even so, there are some things you just can’t take for granted when you have a teenage girl.

  1. Your clothes: I don’t know if I’m blessed or cursed to be the same size as my daughter. When, by some rare and random chance I actually buy cool clothing, she has some kind of military grade radar and finds it before I even have the chance to wear it once. Once she’s worn it I’m done for because whatever it is it looks a million times better on her than it ever did on me.
  2. Your pride: My daughter is kind, thoughtful and respectful, but she can remind me just how old, dated, goofy and embarrassing I am with just one look.
  3. Conversation: When she wants to talk it’s a nonstop verbal stream of consciousness. When she doesn’t, the Budweiser Clydesdales couldn’t drag more than a grunt out of her.
  4. Car rides: I don’t know if it’s sitting side-by-side with no chance of prolonged eye-contact or just some car ride juju, but our best conversations take place in the car. Whether it’s about the marvels of the universe or navigating interpersonal relationships, we can count on solving all the world’s problems with a half hour car ride.
  5. The car radio: My daughter was raised right (by me, of course– there’s no accounting for my husband’s musical tastes) and has seriously spectacular taste, ranging from Johnny Cash to Imagine Dragons, but I have another think coming if I even dream of touching the car radio when she’s riding.
  6. Your heart: No matter how level headed, reasonable and emotionally healthy she is, teenage years come with drama and heartbreak, and so help me I’m right along for the ride.
  7. The time you have: This is it, the final third of our time with our kids in our house. I’m constantly, keenly aware she’s almost ready to fly, and am doing my best not to waste a single minute!

Alethea Mshar

Alethea Mshar is a mother of four children; an adult child who passed away of a drug overdose, one typical daughter and two sons who have Down syndrome, one of whom has autism spectrum disorder and complex medical needs. She has written "What Can I Do To Help", a guide to stepping into the gap when someone you know has a child diagnosed with cancer, which is available on Amazon, and is publishing a memoir titled, "Hope Deferred". She can be found on Twitter as leemshar, and blogs for The Mighty HuffPost as Alethea Mshar, as well as her own blog, Ben's Writing Running Mom on She is also on Facebook as Alethea Mshar, The Writing, Running Mom.