Friday, November 23, 2012

Your Teenage Years Have Been Canceled

Starting tomorrow, I'm the mom of a teenager.

That doesn't make me feel old
at all.
Precocious Daughter turns 13 tomorrow. I'm not sure how that's mathematically possible, as I know for a fact she just started kindergarten sometime last week. Yet the calendar proclaims that it has in fact been 13 years since she arrived, all red-faced and pruny, into this world.

I'm apparently not very good at math.

Or motherhood, although NOT THIS BAD.
The thing is, she's ready to be a teenager. She's got eye-rolling down. She's already started playing D&D. Her bras have actual cups now, not just little triangles that lay flat against her chest.

Honestly, a picture of Daniel Craig in a bra has nothing
to do with anything, but it was too good to pass up.
More importantly, she's smart and funny and poised and charming. Last night she held her own in a room full of adults, making polite conversation in a way I can barely manage now, let alone when I was her age.

But I...I am not ready for PDaughter to be a teenager. Even though it's great that she can be left alone for periods of time, and that she can get her own dinner if need be, and help carry in the groceries, and all those things that are the little rewards parents get for living through the "Dora the Explorer" years, it also means that ever so slowly, she's starting to disengage from Beloved Spouse and me. Every step toward independence is a step away from wanting to be tucked in at night or have her hair brushed.

Even though sometimes she really needs
her hair brushed when the blades from
my mom-copter mess it up.
And don't get me wrong: PDaughter is about as far from a distant, sullen teen as you can get. She greets me with a big hug every day when I get home from work. We go on walks together, watch our favorite TV shows together. Heck, she still calls me "Mommy" instead of "Mom" or "Motherrrrrrrr," although I suspect that last one is coming soon. She's an amazing kid, and if I didn't still have vivid, gross memories of childbirth, I'd swear she wasn't mine.

Still. I'm about to be the mom of a teenager. And that makes me feel old. So I've decided she can't do it.

I'm Supermom. I have that power.
I'm not sure how I'm going to break it to her. But she has to be told that her birthday isn't just about her. It's about me and my incredible insecurities. She's already well acquainted with those, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that I would pull some shit like this. I'm sure she'll be disappointed, but that's well-trod territory, as well.

And it's not as if I'm going to cancel her birthday outright. She'll still get cake and presents and all. She just doesn't get to be 13. She can pick any of the other twelve numbers that come before it. Her choice.

I mean, that's OK, right?


I'll let you know how it goes.


  1. How about letting her be 18 if she'll become your baby sister? What mother doesn't want to be mistaken for her daughter's sister? Not one I've seen, that's for sure.

  2. Just wait until your little buttercup comes home and tells you she's getting MARRIED. Sigh, that's were I'm at.


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