It happened last weekend. My firstborn turned 13. Thirteen is such a milestone number, a new page in the parenting chapter – and a reminder that your days of creating childhood memories are becoming shorter and shorter.
For the past few years now I’ve thought about how I would feel when I found myself a parent of a teenager. Perhaps it was the pre-conceived notion in my head that parents of teenagers are old and tired (Old? No. Tired? I think so) that led me to wonder about it. I didn’t know whether I would feel happy that I had made it this far on the parenting journey without major hiccups, or cry my eyes out because…well, I blinked and she turned 13.
Unfortunately I, Ms. party planning extraordinaire, didn’t plan much at all for Anika’s birthday. With everything going on the past month I literally didn’t have the time or energy to go all out like I have been guilty of in the past.
I agreed to take her and a few friends somewhere followed by a sleepover and she ended up choosing Bullwinkle’s Family Fun Center…and then proceeded on with her own party planning.
She hand drew and colored intricate invitations for everyone, made lists of ideas for her party including color schemes, decorations, and thank you cards. She told me that she wanted to have everyone meet up at our house before Bullwinkle’s so that she could open gifts and have cake with everyone.
I took her shopping the day before her birthday, and with her list in hand she picked everything out that she needed. She came home and not only baked a vanilla cake from scratch, but figured out how to fill it with Skittles, color fondant, and roll it onto the cake.
On the morning of her birthday I woke up to her blowing up balloons and hanging up neon colored streamers.
I felt proud, and she was happy to coordinate it.
Family gathered around as we sang Happy Birthday to her, and we all loaded up for an evening of fun.
It’s been five days now, and everything is finally beginning to settle down after our busy weekend filled with lots of company. In fact, this is the first time I’ve sat down to actually think about having a teenager now that’s it’s actually happened.
13 like every other year is a gift that not everyone gets to celebrate. It’s a moment in life that won’t be forgotten. Even with all of the challenges that lead us up to here, and all of the ones we will have in the future, I wouldn’t change 13 for the world.
Happy Belated Birthday Anika, I’m proud to be your Mom.