In the car today Caroline was just a’talking away.
Blah blah this.
Blah blah that.
We were on our way to Josephine’s chiropractic appointment and I think Caroline was excited to go along. That’s why she was extra gibbery.
Is ‘gibbery’ even a word?
Caroline: You know? I don’t even know what my soul is, but I think I do.
Me: (Oh Lawd. Now I start scrambling and trying to think of how to describe a soul to an 8 year old) Well, your soul is really everything about you that isn’t your BODY. Like, your goodness and your heart. Your feelings and your love.
Caroline: Oh! Okay. Sometimes people ask me what the most important body part is and really there is MORE than one. BUT I’d say your soul is what you really need because for three reasons. 1). Without a soul in your body you’re not ALIVE. 2). You really can’t get into heaven without one. And there actually isn’t a third reason so I don’t even know why I even numbered to three.
Me: Okay! Well, let’s go to Starbucks after the chiropractor.
Caroline: Sounds great to me.
Emily recently turned fourteen.
I don’t get it either.
I mean, one day we are bringing home a newborn and the next day….BAM.
Anyway, she just turned 14 and although I reminisce about those days when she was a baby? I don’t miss those days when she was a baby. Because you know what? I savored every.single.bit of it.
Okay. That’s not true. I didn’t gobble up EVERY single bit of it. Because some days sucked. However, we had such fun when she was a little one. Going to the park. Eating sand. Playing outside. Her putting band-aids all over her face (on a daily basis) for some reason. Exploring our back yard. Planting flowers. Showing her the beach.
You know, all of that stuff. It was such a great time, but guess what?
SO IS RIGHT NOW.
All of these moms/dads/grandparents always say “Soak it up because one day they will be bigger”.
Yeah. It’s common sense, People. They always get bigger. But that’s not a bad thing.
Having little ones is a treat and it’s fun. It’s cute and it’s so dang sweet.
However, I can still say that NOW about Emily. She’s 14. It’s a treat and it’s fun. She’s cute and so dang sweet.
Here’s why I know this. Because I see it with my own two eyeballs day in and day out. Yes, she gets angry with her sisters. Yes, we sometimes have school troubles, but heck. So do I. (I count helping my kids with homework a ‘school trouble’, thank you very much). Emily recently had some friends over to go to the movies, dinner and sleep over.
Let me tell you how that went.
It was so stinkin’ cute. I told her I wasn’t going to leave them at the movie alone (plus I wanted to see Hidden Figures, too) and she said, “okay!”. Granted, she didn’t want me to sit with them, but whatever. When I asked if she minded if Allison went along she said, “sure”. Whhaaaatttt?! After the movies, she wanted dinner at Del Taco and a trip to the ice cream shop. Now, see? CUTE.
Once we were back home, they all worked that karaoke machine like champs, but here’s the best part.
The next morning, they hung out in the kitchen with me for over an hour. Just chatting with me. Now see? SWEET. 14 year olds are AMAZING. They are a treat. They are fun. They are cute and so dang sweet.
Here’s what I learned about them:
1. They say funny things. They like dorky jokes and sarcasm. The giggles and jokes were never-ending. Oh how funny teenagers can be!
2. They are polite and respectful. 14 year olds are thankful for what you give them. I can’t tell you how many times I hear(d) “thanks mom”. And “thanks for taking us Mrs. Gibson”. “I had fun at your house, Mrs. Gibson” and “I appreciate you driving us to get ice cream”.
3. They don’t care what other people think about them. These girls don’t care about being “cool”. They wear what they like, do their hair how they like, and LIKE what they like. I saw four different personalities and ALL were MORE THAN ACCEPTED by the other girls. Here’s an example, Ashley had face cream all over her little face and didn’t give a hoot about it. She never said, ‘I should wash this off’ or ‘don’t take my picture!’. Her attitude was ‘oh this is my face cream, thanks’ and PEOPLE ACCEPTED THAT. Sounds simple, but why can’t we all be like Ashley? ‘Oh, this is my _____ , thanks’ and it’s acceptable and people STILL LIKE YOU FOR YOU.
4. They want to be in on the grown up stuff, but they are still Little Stuff. They were so sweet to hang out with me. They felt like big people, I think. They asked GOOD questions about random things. But then, after an hour, someone said, “Let’s go play in the front yard!”. I loved that part.
In the end, after this 14 year old get-together, I realized a couple of things. I don’t miss Emily the Baby. I don’t miss Emily the Toddler. I don’t even miss Emily the Elementary School Kid. Because WE DID THAT SO WELL. We loved it and lived it, I have pictures, stories and we had a blast. I don’t miss it because I still have THIS PART. Yes, they grow up fast, but don’t regret that part. That growing up part is nice, too.
There’s nothing wrong with teenagers. There’s everything RIGHT with teenagers. Love ’em up. They are amazing.