My daughter just turned 13 at the end of last month. I would include a picture of her birthday celebration here, but I’m entirely sure I’d get it wrong.
I have no idea how we’ve arrived at this place. I knew it was coming, and yet I’m surprised we’re here. It seems like just yesterday she learned to walk, and now she’s screaming at me because I “hate her and think she’s fat and ugly.”
These are precious times.
Well, in honor of her entrance into the teen years, here are the 13 greatest things about parenting a 13-year-old girl:
1. I don’t have to remember anything anymore, which is handy, because evidently I “just don’t even know.”
2. Listening to current pop music regularly reminds me how much better music used to be. Any music. Any of it. Seriously. Anything.
3. I’ll never have to “even” anymore because I’m repeatedly told to “don’t even.”
4. I always have a fashion critic. I didn’t even know I needed a fashion critic, but I have one. And she lives with me. How fantastic is that?!
5. My culinary skills are quickly improving. Luckily, my fashion critic doubles as a food critic and is more than happy to give me feedback on where I can improve in the kitchen. I’m working the hardest on “ugh,” “fine,” “’kay” and “whatevs.”
6. I’m becoming a fierce negotiator. I’ve graduated from, “When I count to three you’d better…” to “Can someone pass me the Merlot?”
7. I have a new appreciation for actual logic.
8. I was able to cancel cable. I get more drama from a five-minute rendition of what happened in study hall than I could get from an entire season of The Walking Dead.
9. I spend a lot more time walking, which is good for my heart. I walk around malls holding up different clothing items while my daughter says, “no,” “nope,” “ick,” “seriously, Mom” and “of course you would like that.” My calves are so much tighter.
10. I always have someone around to show me how my iPhone works, before I even know I need help.
11. I’m realizing gifts I never knew I had. For example, I have the gift of drawing out 25 separate moods from my daughter within a span of 4.6 seconds.
12. I’m learning a new language. Eye rolling, doors slamming, foot stomping and deep sighing are an entire conversation.
13. My heart still swells to twice its normal size every day. Because even though she challenges me, she’s also the greatest joy of my life.
In all seriousness, she’s a great kid who I love more than life itself. And I’m sure that in a few more years, when she doesn’t mind being seen with me, she’ll hug me and tell me the same.