In 7 days I will be the mother of a teenager. A teenager. Say what?!?
It’s not that I’ve been out to lunch during the last 12 years and 11 months, it’s just that all of those memories seem like they happened yesterday! Watching her first ginger steps, teaching her how to tie her shoes, cheering and jumping up down when she learned to ride a bike, and watching her chase butterflies in the outfield instead of paying attention during her t-ball games are all memories I cherish but they seem more like yesterday’s memories than several years ago.
It’s not that I’m opposed to having a teen (yes I’ve heard the horror stories but I’m heading into this with an open mind and heart…dangerous, I know). I’m excited to see what life has in store for this sweet, imaginative girl who wanted to grow up to be a unicorn, not that long ago.
The problem is this: it’s the sheer panic of that in 5 short years we’ll be preparing for high school graduation, finishing filling out college financial aid forms, and sending my first-born baby out into the real world. (Lord help me!)
What she (or anyone else at the party) won’t see next week when she’s blowing out those 13 candles is:
- the mom guilt of sometimes being too distracted to notice when she needed me
- the shame I’ve felt when I let impatience win and not thought out what I wanted to say before I have blown my fuse
- the knot in my stomach over upcoming teenage hormones and arguments
- the anxiety of knowing that she has the common sense and knowledge to make smart choices when boys start to notice how beautiful her smile is
- the sweaty anticipation of how teen girls can be so mean and praying that she doesn’t become a victim or be the mean girl
- the torture of watching a pure heart get broken for the first time
- the terror of letting go as she learns to drive and do all of those things that she’s needed us for
- the pride of the beautiful soul she has, the quick humor, and the innocence she shows when my husband and I have to remind ourselves she is still a child.
So as we’re singing Happy Birthday don’t mind me if a tear slips down my cheek. I’m saying goodbye to the chubby baby cheeks while I’m saying hello to the years of not being able to sleep, anxiously awaiting for the, “Mom, I’m home” on Friday and Saturday nights. I’m grateful for each moment God has blessed us with this beautiful child and my emotions may just be getting the best of me. I’m not crazy, I’m just a mom of a soon-to-be teenager!