13, Part 1

She said…

My daughter, Grace turns 13 in a few days. “10 and ½ days” she will tell you. Why are kids so eager to become official teenagers? I’m sure I was the same way but I don’t remember it. Of course, I don’t remember what I made for dinner last night, but that’s another blog.

For two years, Grace has pulled out the “I’m almost a teenager” card whenever she wanted to do something “big” that required the utmost independence and maturity.  I couldn’t help myself; I’d say, “Yeah, in two YEARS you’ll be a teenager.” Plus, I’d remind her, just because you reach a certain age doesn’t mean that *poof* overnight you are suddenly wiser, smarter, kinder, more ready to take on life’s stuff than you were when you laid your head on the pillow the night before.

In her newly-teened mind, though, everything will be different. She’ll be one of “them”, a real teenager, joining an exclusive group that she’ll be a member of for the next six years until, ironically, she reaches the age of her sister, Ann, who is 19 and can tell you exactly how many days until she’s finally out of her teens and into her 20’s.

I’ve mused to my girls that until around age 24 you can’t wait for the next year to come, to be that much older. Then all of a sudden, you start digging in your heels, putting on the breaks and it all reverses. “I’m already 25! How did this happen?” Then, it’s “I’m turning 30, I’d better get on the stick and get married and start a family” and then it’s “I’m 40, am I living the kind of life I really want?” and so on. Hopefully, ideally, you become wiser with each passing day, but still, isn’t it interesting how it shifts?

Meanwhile, the big 1-3 is coming up. I’m ok with it because I’ve always welcomed each new stage of my children’s lives, almost like opening a present to see what we’re going to get now. In general, it’s a mixed bag, with some things I love and some things I’d like to return to the store.

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