Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sweet Sixteen?

Last month we celebrated our youngest daughter's 9th birthday. At nine, life is fun and pretty and mom is still potentially the one you run to when you need a hug.

But what about when you're on the cusp of being 16? Our oldest daughter will be 16 in exactly 10 days. This is somewhat monumental.


Not because there will be a big party, not because it's a cultural tradition that our family celebrates, but because this is the time she will always remember.

There are days when I'm driving by myself and a Madonna song comes on the radio and I feel like I'm 16. I know all the words, whereas I can't remember what I did two days ago. I'm semi-dancing in my minivan (if you're a Gilmore Girls fan, picture Lorelai grooving to "Jive Talking" by the Bee Gees while sitting in her jeep outside her parents' house!) and for 2 minutes and 30 seconds (or however the long the song lasts) I am 16 again.

Those minutes are easy. But the rest of the time, can be like climbing up the proverbial mountain with rocks on your back.

This is not what I signed up for.

My first clue should have been with the on start of labor when my mind screamed "get me off this train!"

Parenting at times can be so painstakingly difficult. I've been thinking about that fine line of being a mom and still be "friendly" with your kids.

Are we good moms and who is defining what is "good?" Would your spouse say you're a good mom? Would your best friend? How about your kids, seriously, if you could be the fly on the wall when they're with their friends, what is your child saying about your role as mom?

Two of my closest friends feel the same way. Where do you draw the line? Are we too harsh, too compliant, are we fearful that our kids will turn on us and eventually write a biography about how their parents ruined their lives?

Time will tell I guess.


For now, I will tell my daughter this:

Even if you can't see it, we will always be connected. This bond between mother and child which at one time was physical, is still there and always will be.

If he breaks your heart, let him go, cry, eat ice cream, listen to breakup songs, watch a sad movie, hide under the covers and then move on...because there will be someone else.

Real hardships will happen, battles will occur and life will feel unbearable, but you will be able to get through these moments if you realize these moments are but temporary.

When your heart hurts, my heart will hurt as well. :(

Even if you think I don't understand, I understand perfectly, because I've been there.

Know that I will always love you. Unconditionally. No matter what.


15 comments:

  1. Oh, this is so beautiful. And by the way, I am a Gilmore Girls fan! It's why I wanted to have a daughter. Don't you think that if the show had gone on and Rory had eventually had her own kids, there'd be a bookish little daughter? Maybe. Or not!
    Anyway, I love to think about that bond. My daughter is four and my son is one. I have so, so much to learn still.
    Your daughter is so beautiful! She looks like you!

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    1. Don't even get me started on Gilmore Girls! Go Team Luke!
      Thanks Tamara, hard to believe I will soon have a sixteen-year-old...

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  2. Loved this post...it definitely speaks to me! My children are 16, 14 and 12 and I often think the same things...do they think I am too hard on them, do they think I'm a good mom, do they wish I did things differently? It's hard being a parent. Following you now on Facebook and bloglovin...I was already following on twitter. :)

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    1. Michelle, thanks for the follows! Speaking of social media, that's just another area to contend with these days...read the link on my last tweet. Social Media is now changing how we parent!

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  3. Wow, what an amazing post. My mother and I always seemed to have a pretty close bond as I was growing up. I think one of the best things about being an adult is that now our bond is even closer. Sure, I have my own life, but I know that if I ever need anything, my mom is right there.

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    1. Not all mother-daughter relationships are like that, consider yourself fortunate! Thanks Kristen!

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  4. Oh my gosh, the thought is horrifying. Is that bad? I don't worry about our oldest, being a boy, but I'm terrified of seeing our two girls hit the teen years. I know how I was and that makes it even worse. But I also hope I'm better at my life choices during their early years, which hopefully in turn, will make them better at theirs. I feel for ya though. No matter what, a teenager is a teenager and that's horribly frightening. It's almost hard to comprehend that I will be a parent to three of them.

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    1. This is the age I dreaded most when I became a mom, then again potty training wasn't so fun either!

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  5. I can't even imagine the teen years yet! It is hard to know if you're pushing them too hard, not enough. All we can do it our best I guess.

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  6. Oh, boy! It's so hard to know how it will all unfold in the teen years. As a mom it's nerve wracking. You remember the heartache and the pitfalls (which are only worse now in this age of social media) and you want to be there. But I also remember that I NEVER EVER thought my mom understood me. I just knew it. All I want is for my daughter to know how much I love her, that I'm always there for her, and that I do understand her--she's not alone. I'm sure that's what my mom wanted, too. --Lisa

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    1. That age right before adulthood is tough! But I think most moms feel the innate need to protect...Husband always says it's not "what" we're doing, but "how" we're doing it. Smart man.

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  7. I know 80's stuff more than all the new things. I loved the 80's. haha. I have a 6 year old & things have been rough the past 3 years. I can't imagine her being a teenager. I hear it's a lot worse.

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