She arrived and undid our child's diaper to check her belly button. Then she put that diaper back on - tight! My husband and I just looked at each other in wide-eyed wonder. We didn't need to talk because we were both thinking "Did you see that? Did you see how tight she put that on? That's why every diaper leaks!"
I had several moments like that with my first child. It was equally eye opening when my mother told me to try laying down my crying baby. Maybe she needed to stretch her back or sleep. Would you believe it worked? I thought my child needed me to "walk" her to sleep. Or when my friend fed our child constantly and kept her up till midnight to get her to sleep though the night. That worked too!
Yesterday, that same child came out of her room with her hair in bun, braces pushing out her lips, acne on her forehead, hipster glasses on her nose looked me eye to eye and began crying about a homework assignment she forgot to do. How the heck did that happen?
I feel just as lost raising a teenager as I did with that first baby. But now the stakes are higher and she will remember my mistakes. There are so many things I want to teach her before she goes to college. I thought I was teaching her these things all along. But somehow when she turned 13 these lessons just flew out of her pretty little head.
I tell myself to stay the course. Somewhere in this young lady is the little girl I know. She's still listening. It's just not cool for her to admit it. I also remind myself of how hard these years were for me. I wanted to fit in, but I also wanted to be my own person. Figuring out how to do that was no small task. It took me years. She'll get there one day.
I wish I had some witty words to wrap this one up. I don't. This story is far from done. I have two other daughters to get through their mixed up teen years and no indication of how well, or bad, I'm actually doing. The best I can do is look to my parents, my friends, my husband and know they will help me through this phase of life just like they did when I was a first time mother. Thank goodness for people who love us!