It is finally here, the day I have looked forward to since I was 16. I am the mom of a teenager. Do you think I’m crazy? Well I think we already established that. The thing is, while girls around the world were excited to hold their babies, and watch them learn to walk, and do all the wierd/grose/cute baby stuff, I was anticipating the years from 13-19. I’m sure you’re asking Why?
Yes Babies are so fun. They are so cute, and watching them learn simple tasks is Kodak moment worthy of course! I loved every second of that. But, I had my baby when I was 20. I was a baby myself. Changing diapers and spit up, and potty training while my young friends enjoyed their twenties was really hard. I couldn’t even drink alcohol legally but they sent me home from the hospital with a tiny human!
So April 11, 2006 my journey to grow up began and Kamryn was born. I’ve been raising a amazing girl, and she has helped raise me. We have had to grow up together. Being a young mom is awesome and I plan to touch on that in a later post, but let me tell you the reasons I’m so excited for this next chapter, THE TEEN YEARS…
I will never sit here and say I KNOW HOW TO RAISE A TEENAGER because I don’t. The only experience I have is how I was raised. I love my parents and when I think about the kind of teenager I was I cringe with embarrassment. However, my parents didn’t have social media (thank God) to check up on us, or Blogs that gave us advice. They were parenting in the dark. They did the best they could with the tools they had. Mom and Dad you did pretty damn good…with my brother. I’m kidding, but seriously every family has one right…I was the one. Maybe in some ways I still am. I am sure I make my mom and dad roll their eyes and shake their heads as I plaster my life all over the internet.
However, for me I plan on taking a different approach to the teen years. The, I promise to never be naive to the fact that my kid could very well be out there getting drunk, or having sex approach. I will have MANY open conversations about it all. I don’t ever want those things to be taboo or shameful, but I want my kids to make informed decisions. If they choose the wrong ones (which they will sometimes) I want them to know that not only does God forgive, but so do I.
As my daughter has gotten older, I see the conversation shifting. She’s not asking me how to do things, like “How do I tie my shoes?” or say things like “My butt itches” , or ask questions I legit have no answers for such as “Why is the moon called the moon?” The young years as I have experienced them come with lots of funny questions and lots of blank stares. Granted I know those days aren’t over because I too remember asking as a Teenager to my parents, “What do female bulls look like?”
However, I do notice as Kamryn and I drive in the car and listen to the radio or the news she understands it. She asks me questions about it, but she also gives me her opinion on it. I notice little things in the way she says words that even I don’t know and how she gets passionate when talking about current events. It makes me happy to have these adult like conversations now. I am excited to have even more in depth ones as she matures.
As Kamryn has grown up this past year I have noticed she asks to borrow my clothes more. I LOVED doing this as a teen to my mom. We didn’t like all the same things, but oh buddy did we love our shoes! Kamryn and I have the same size foot now, and although I do see her being taller than me eventually, I am excited that we can share for now!
She is starting to get her own style, but so many times I see my style in what she wears. I think my love for fashion has rubbed off on her, and while I’ll never be able to wear the cute crop tops again, her love for Birkenstocks is strong and well that in my opinion is a #parentwin because those suckers aren’t cheap! So now we get one pair and share, pretty sweet set up!
Although I had her young and I am a young mom, nothing makes ya feel older than when your kids become teenagers. However, those tired nights you had when they were babies are replaced with staying up late talking about their boy crushes, and waiting by the door when they come home from their dates. It’s a different type of restless nights, and well I’m embracing it because I remember the nights when I was a teenager that my parents let me stay up late and how much fun it was and how grateful I was for those experiences, those memories that are with me forever. Don’t worry high school buddies, I’m taking those memories to the grave.
I know my daughter no matter how old she gets or how independent she becomes will always still need me. These teen years more than ever. So much happens in this chapter, that it really could be its own book. I want her to always know I’m here for her. I have raised her these first 12 years of her life to become the young woman she is, and while I will have to loosen my grip a bit, I know that I’m going to be the first person she comes to because my mom is the first person I go to.
I’m not kidding myself, there will be secrets that she keeps from me. There will be drama that happens at school or with boys that I won’t ever know about. We are going to fight. We are going to hate each other at times. We will always love each other of course, but there will be those times when I am not sure I can do it. Then I’ll remember those toddler years when I locked myself in the closet for peace, or screamed into a pillow and somehow made it through. I will always be constant in her life, and even when she won’t tell me the problem, I’ll be there to pass her chocolate under her door as a piece offering.
So kid as we embark on this next chapter together, I hope you know how proud I am of who you are becoming. Don’t let the teen years scare you, because I’m not letting them scare me. If I was able to not kill you as a baby when they let a child myself bring you home, well then I got this…I think.