This is 15.

15 is early mornings at school and late-night studying.

15 is sleeping in any chance she gets and waking up at the last possible second.

15 is eye rolls at jokes she used to find funny and exasperated sighs every time I say no.

15 is starting to understand what’s going on in the world today, and thinking of ways to solve it. 15 also likes to binge-watch Stranger Things for nine hours straight.

15 is all legs, messy buns, and big sweatshirts. 15 can also look like a full-fledged woman when she wants, which is both terrifying and beautiful.

15 thinks she knows everything. 15 also asks where to place the stamp on an envelope and how to spell Wednesday.

15 will watch all the best 80s movies with you and then ask questions about your youth. You will feel closer than ever and that you’re doing something right. The next morning she will tell you that you don’t understand her life and act like she wants nothing to do with you.

15 will remember every song lyric but will always forget to pick up her room or put the cup in the dishwasher. You will remember that you also did that at 15, although it doesn’t make it any less annoying. 15 makes you apologize to your own mom for when you were 15.

15 no longer finds boys icky and may even have a boyfriend who she wants to spend all her time with. 15 causes you to have an ongoing eye twitch.

15 knows how to hit you where it hurts and strikes in the jugular. 15 is also learning how to apologize and mean it.

15 has one foot in her childhood and the other poised to fly.

15 gives you such a sense of pride that you feel your heart will burst. When 15 hurts, you’ve never known pain quite like it.

15 will cry in your arms. 15 will push you away. 15 can make you cry.

When 15 wants to spend time with you, you don’t care what she wants to do. You’ll take her presence any chance you can get.

15 is a firecracker constantly on the verge of explosion. You never know if it will be a beautiful glow of light or noise so loud it will shake you to your core.

15 needs her mom more than ever. 15 will never admit she needs her mom.

15 can cook a full meal, do the laundry and is learning how to drive. 15 will have accidents doing all those things. 15 looks responsible but still has a lot to learn.

15 is planning for the future. 15 is also nervous and stressed and anxious about it.

It’s hard to be 15. It’s also pretty awesome to be 15.

15 is a walking contradiction.

As I look at my two 15s, I remember squishy babies who always wanted to eat, kept me up late at night, and constantly made a mess. Everything and nothing has changed during those 15 years.

15 is a challenge, a struggle, a fight.

15 is glorious. And I wouldn’t change a thing.

15 makes me sad for what is gone and excited for what comes next.

I couldn’t love 15 more.

Originally published on Playdates on Fridays by Whitney Fleming

Whitney Fleming

Whitney is a mom of three teen daughters, a communications consultant, and blogger. She tries to dispel the myth of being a typical suburban mom although she is often driving her minivan to soccer practices and attending PTA meetings. She writes about parenting, relationships, and w(h)ine on her blog Playdates on Fridays.