Friday, May 22, 2009

No Longer My Baby; She's a Young Lady!

The past few days have really hit me hard and really made me realize some things about my oldest daughter. Five months ago she became a teenager, yep, the Big 1-3! Honestly that was harder on me than when I turned 30. Why though? Then it was merely the thought of her growing up and my memories of me at 13. OK that's enough to scare my pants off, but I won't go there!

So over the past few months, I felt like I came to terms with her being a teenager. My husband and I are big believers in talking to our children early and educating them about things before their peers can. Long ago we had "The Talk" and I try to continually talk to them about the realities of being a teenager and what's going on in their lives. I ask her all the usuals like,"Do you like a boy?", "Do your friends like boys?" etc. She's a pretty low key girl so she usually tells me that not too much is going on. Well, I watch way too much Dateline and hear the types of things that JR High kids are doing, but all I can do is keep trying to communicate with her and let her know that I'm always here for her.

All year I have been wanting to chaperon a school Teen Night dance, but my schedule never permitted it. Being the crazy mom that I am, I've been telling her all year long that I was going to go to the dance and actually Dance. My child has been mortified at the thought of me embarrassing her. This past Saturday, I got my big chance to chaperon the final dance. The big formal dance for their school. Of course I didn't humiliate her, even though I am a pretty good dancer if I do say so myself!

Needless to say, the dance was nothing like I expected. I was shocked by SOME of the kids. It was really sad actually! You would see the same girls that were surrounded by boys and dancing in ways that should be left to married adults, if you know what I mean. I had to break up a couple of groups that were getting at little too wild.

All night long, I was thinking how grateful I am for my daughter. I gave her space and tried not to be checking up on her; I could really tell that her and her friends were having a great time dancing and hanging out together. They are a great bunch of girls and I pray that they stay that way! On the way home, we were talking about the night and my daughter's best friend said, "Those are the girls with reputations. My mom always says, 'Your reputation is like glass. Once it's broken, it can't be fixed." Wow! They touched my heart that night. I was able to see that my little girl has become a young lady!

The next day, she had an interview for an online Teen Summit. They selected her as 1 of 5 top Teen Entrepreneurs who are doing great things in business! What an honor. I had a mandatory parent meeting for her cheerleading tryouts at the same time so her dad helped her log on and phone in for her interview, and she did a live interview. I am so amazed by this girl. Although she was nervous, she got on and did her thing! I can not even imagine doing that at 13, but she did it! Several people told her that she did a great job.

I told her that no matter how it went I was so proud that she was able to handle it. That weekend, I also told her that I am proud of the person she is. I hear so many stories of the mother/ daughter struggle, and I am so grateful that we get along well. We have our moments, but I think we have a mutual respect and I hope that we can maintain that.

Of all the reflections and thoughts, I am glad that I can see my daughter for who she is and who she is becoming! She's quite a young lady; watch out world!

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