ten days...

until this sleeping beauty is 16.


how in the world did that happen?

i blinked. i took a nap (or two). i watched a couple of t.v. shows (or a thousand). 

i took some photos of the whole process. i have the visual documentation.

but it hasn’t really hit me in the gut until lately...

that she is growing up. and the end is closer than i would like it to be.

today in the grocery store i passed by the carts with the little seats for little toddlers and it hit me in the gut again... i am done with those. my children don’t need them, haven’t needed them for a long time. and somewhere something hurt inside of me. something hurt in my stomach and something warm and wet filled my eyes.

there is joy in being the parent of a teenager. more joy than i ever thought possible. it isn’t as gut wrenching as i had been told... most days. some days (like when she is behind the wheel of the car) are gut wrenching. when i see her being teenagerey self focused and selfish and rude to her brother or sister (or heaven forbid, ME), or when she rolls her eyes at my BRILLIANT advice that would make her life 1000% better- there is a definite wrench in my gut. when i wonder how in the HECKOLA we are going to pay for her to go to college- i feel a wrench tightening in my gut until i can barely breathe. but most days are good with her. they are fun. they are exciting. they are lovely. and they are fleeting. faster and faster as she approaches the end of her “childhood”. someone slow down this ride. please.

i want to do something special for her 16th birthday. something that won’t take a penny away from her college fund (because frankly that would be taking the majority of her college fund).

and so i am comprising a list of 16 things i wish i had known at 16. and making a little book for her. “things i wish i had known...”

and really they are most likely going to be mostly things i am still struggling to learn at 42.

and i want you to help. will you email me (by hitting the email button at the bottom of this page) or add as a comment one of the things YOU wish you had known at 16. or wish you knew NOW. i would love to add these to her list. because dang it, i can’t think of everything. and i think it would be fun to have a lot of advice from other people also. maybe she won’t roll her eyes at that...

if you can’t think of anything to write... stick around. check my blog this week. i will be starting to add the 16 things. from today until her actual birthday. just a few at a time. so i don’t tax my brain. i would hate to have it run out of good thoughts. 

i have two more kids after her to deal with. lots more time to be in the passenger seat teaching them to drive. lots more eye rolling in my future. lots of reasons to pray. fervently. without ceasing.