That's how it feels, anyhow.
When did she turn 1, or even 10?
I can tell you in vivid detail - well, as vivid as things get when one is on her death bed. (Which I was, by the way. I am not just being facetious) But, with great structure and many facts, I can recall the hours I spent in the hospital before, during, and after our little girls birth.
In fact, I had posted about the traumatic events that took place 13 years ago in Philadelphia, PA.
You can read all about it here
Anyway, Olivia is going to be a teenager tomorrow. And while I am thrilled that she is entering this stage of life, I am a little nervous about her entering this stage in her life.
You see, I was once a hormonal and (at times) thoughtless teenager myself.
Every time I say this to Olivia, I either get a roll of the eyes or an exaggerated sigh - as if to say, "Hurry up Mom! I've heard this one before!"
When I was a teenager I was boy crazy, emotional, and full of self doubt. While trying to fit in with "the other girls" I was constantly changing my look and bending my morals and convictions all in the name of belonging. So, I really never took the time to find myself.
I usually "jumped off of that proverbial bridge" with all of my other friends. It wasn't until much later that I finally started paving the way for who I am today. But, back then, with my head full of the need to be accepted and not judged, I made many mistakes and poor decisions. Most of those decisions weren't "life altering", thank God. But, looking back on who I was back then and the crazy things I did, I sometimes wish I could do it all over - if only just to change some of the tinier things.
But, when I look at our daughter - the Olivia Joy that we have raised thus far - I am beginning to recognize some things that she is certainly doing better than I ever did.
Olivia is genuinely a sweet girl. She is eager to please (and sometimes that can be a bad thing). She is confident in what she wants to do with her life. She is as loyal as they come. And she is just downright beautiful inside - and out.
Sure, she has her - what I like to call - moments of pure insanity. These are the moments when all of the good is instantly replaced with almost the polar opposites of what a "good girl" would be doing. However, Olivia is quick to ask for forgiveness and is usually (not always, but most of the time) appetent to make things right again. Olivia is not one to hold a grudge.
I know that there will be fights and disagreements along the way. I also know that Olivia will probably make me want to rip every hair off of my head. But, I also know that John and I stand united in our parenting and furthermore - and maybe more important - we have told every lie in the book so that we could be "stupid teenagers". I have no doubt that we will come out of the end of the "teenager tunnel" more wise and more understanding as to who Olivia is and who she is to become, albeit with slightly less hair on our heads.
So, tomorrow morning, when John and I get up to wish our beautiful and amazing daughter a very happy thirteenth birthday, I will try to hold back the tears. I will hug her, give her a kiss on her cheek and then I will put the candle in her cupcake so I can sing - with great pride - Happy Birthday.
FYI - being that her birthday is on a weekday, her actual birthday cake will be eaten tomorrow evening, at my parents house and certainly after school lets out. The cupcake is just so she can start the day off right.
So, happy 13th birthday to my Olivia. My joy of joys. One of the keepers of my heart. And my life's true and ever lasting happiness.
|Olivia and me|
|Olivia and John|