Monday, October 25, 2010

From Barbie Dolls to Telephone Calls

Yesterday was quite a big day for us. My second child officially turned into a teenager, making me the mother of not one but two teenage girls. Those of you with teenage girls will understand the gravity of what I'm saying here. Two teenage girls. One was hard enough, it's so much drama, ALL the time. Now there will be two of them. Not that she hasn't acted like a teenager for at least the last two years, but somehow making it official makes it more real. The idea that my days of barbie dolls and training bras are going to be moving into the boy calls and staring at boys in awe, terrifies me. No more pig tails, no more Barney (OK him I could do without), no more cuddles no more hugs, now it's hair straighteners, make up, and avoiding boys who dress like thugs. What is a mom to do?

In our family we do a Christmas picture every year. Two years ago we were the mafia. We wore fedoras and black and white clothes. I had never let my children play with play guns before so I had to go buy some plastic guns at the dollar store. I now have them stored under my bed in case a thug comes along. Don't get me wrong here I'm pretty sure my tone of voice will be enough to scare any crazy lune who wants to hurt one of my girls. But how crazy would I look if I came out with one of those silly plastic guns? Especially if I pretend I think the thing is real? I'm not crazy I'm just a mom who is completely unprepared for the inevitable. Boys liking my girls. Boys wanting to date my girls. I was a girl who dated boys, I know what they try. It's disgusting to think about it going on with your own child. They will want to hold hands and worse kiss them goodnight. UGH! It's too much!

Honestly I have no idea how this is going to play out. I'm not sure Starbucks is going to get me through this one. Just this last week alone I had at least four delightfully delicious coffee drinks. I use them as rewards. When I am happy with my lack of melt downs I get a coffee. I figure as long as most of them are nonfat something or others it can't be that bad right? Surely it's better than medication. I don't need an antidepressant I need coffee! Actually what I need is intense therapy to come to the understanding that my sweet precious little babies that I carried in the womb and have cared for all these years are growing into young women who will be doing the same thing in less than 20 years.

Thirteen years old. It's amazing really. She is amazing. You know she weened herself at ten months old because she wanted to drink from a cup like her sister. She got her first tooth at four months. Five months before her sister got hers. I had no idea why she was cranky. My oldest was nine months before she got her first tooth. I was sure I had time. Wrong! The only thing she didn't do first is talk. No that came much later. She was four before she started truly communicating with us. Today she is a musician, she acted in a play and sang and wowed us with her abilities. She's growing up. She's a character and I love her more each day.

It seems like yesterday they were little girls. They were adorable. I used to dress them alike. One in purple the other in pink. They are nineteen months apart and they used to get mistaken for twins while riding in their stroller. It always amazed me when that would happen because clearly one was bigger than the other. One could walk. They loved The Big Comfy Couch. They loved to dance and play. We took them to see Blues Clues and The Bear and The Big Blue House. Today they are both teenagers. The time went so quickly. I went from wondering if Hugs was better than Pampers or if they were both a waste of money and I should buy Luvs. Now I have to get the right t-shirt with the right name on it and the right wash of jeans.

The only up side to this entire thing is that they still love Disney and Nickelodeon. In my mind that keeps them kids. I have always told them they have their whole lives to be adults but only one chance to be kids. They better be the best kids they can be and have all the fun they can while they can. When they get old, people will think they are silly for jumping rope and dancing outside in the yard. They will have to have a fence if they want to see if they can still do a cart wheel. It's ridiculous really, how when you get older you get to have so little fun like when you are a kid.

I used to love playing with barbies and riding bikes. I danced in my yard and would sing my heart out. I twirled my baton and lost a tooth eating giant sweet tarts. I wanted to be a dancer on Broadway and a beautician, and a fashion designer. I want my kids to still do those things and enjoy doing them. All too soon it's over. I can't play with barbies unless I visit a friend with little girls, I can't ride my bike unless it's for fitness. I can't dance in my yard and sing along to the music because I would look like an idiot and sound even worse. My dreams have changed too. I now dream of getting the laundry caught up and getting everyone to find the trash can. I think about writing a book and getting it published. But then I wonder if that's really fair. After all my time has passed. It's their turn now. Also what kid wants to have a book about all their childhood escapades for the whole world to read?

Mostly I think about how I hope they never think like I always did. That they can't do something. That they aren't good enough to do it or that good things like writing books or directing movies or acting only happen to people who live in big places so they shouldn't even try. After all David Letterman went to Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. If he can make it from here so can they. I also hope they never give up on dreaming big because from big dreams can come big realities. And all my children are wonderfully smart and creative. Just ask me after all I'm their mother so of course I have very little bias.

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