A Teenager Is Born

I am officially the mother of a teenager.

How it Started

The memories are too easy to recall for it to have been 13 years since I was urgently wheeled into the operating room. Within eight minutes of the OR doors closing, she was out and I immediately turned from feeling deathly sick to worlds better.

She spent 30 days in the NICU before we brought her home, wearing an apnea monitor.

It was a harrowing start to parenthood, and what a ride it’s been since.

One of the NICU nurses told us, “She’s a big girl in a tiny body”. Oh, how those words have rung true time and time again.

How it’s Growing

Her whole life, she’s been infatuated with teenagers. Looking up to teenage girls, fawning over teenage boys, longing to be a teenager… she has quite literally waited her whole life for this birthday.

Granted, I think her favorite number is 16, and that will be a birthday for the ages, so to speak.

But for now, her official entry into becoming a teenager has filled her with a greater sense of accomplishment.

In Contrast

Conversely, you couldn’t pay me enough money to go back to being a teenager again. The awkwardness, the heartbreak, the poor choices – I’ll pass on a repeat, thank you.

I remember being a little girl, probably around six or seven, looking up at the nighttime sky and thinking quietly, “Star bright, star light, first star I see tonight – I wish I may I wish I might, for the wish I wish tonight.” and subsequently wishing I could skip all of the childhood and adolescent years, and go straight to being a 21 year old.

Even as a very young girl, I was determined to fly right past the growing-up years.

Little Miss, however, has longed for this day since she understood what birthdays were all about.

A teenager. Surely now everything in life will be fanciful!

The Parent of a Teenager

I don’t feel I’ve been a parent long enough to be the mother of a teenager, but there is no mistaking it.

I have enjoyed every stage of parenting while simultaneously dreading the next. I’m far too sentimental for wanting anything to change or progress. Her little preemie days were the best until we got to her interactive infant days. And those were unbeatable until we got to the toddler stage. Which was my all-time favorite until we got to preschool age. And on and on it has continued.

I don’t know of many people who look forward to being the parent of a teenager, but if history is any indication, I will find this stage as endearing and purposeful as every stage of parenting that has gone before it.

My eyes have been a little misty off and on today. She’s such a good kid, and I’m such a blessed Mama. Lord, help me remember that when we go toe to toe.

May the memories of these last 13 years always feel as close as they feel today, and may the memories we make going forward nestle in the same proximity.

Happy birthday, Sweet Pea. Welcome to the world of being a teenager. May it be as blessed as you imagine!

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