Monday, August 24, 2009

Ode to "14"

I was 14 yesterday, or was it the day before that.  You laugh!  In my mind it was only moments ago.  I still remember my first day of Junior High, I wish I didn't, but there it is roaming the corners of my memory.  My mom talked me into cutting my very long, very curly hair, right before 7th grade.  I ended up with the worlds worst mullet.  The summer had left it's mark.  I was determined to get a tan.  I don't tan, I merely freckle.  I must have figured that if I stayed in the sun long enough, my freckles would blend together, leaving me with a golden glow.  I nearly succeeded!  Needless to say, I was feeling a little less than confidant.  (insert terrible picture here... can't find one - they must have been lost forever!)  Some days I wish I could go back and talk to that insecure, shy little girl.  Or at least teach her how to do her hair!  Somehow, through it all, I survived.

However, I'm not sure how my mother survived.  I am one of 7 girls in my family.  7 girls - can you imagine what the bathroom looked like?  Trust me, you don't want to go there.  We were all stinkers at one time or another.  My mom always used to say, "You can think that you hate me, but you better not ever say it out loud".  The things that I said to my mother, either out loud or under my breath - how could I be so thoughtless?  I guess I have to chalk it up to being 14.  As my daughter hit that dreadful, yet wonderful age, I have more and more respect for my mother every day.  She was one brave, beautiful woman.  She listened to our ranting and raving with grace and patience - a lot of patience.   All those years of disrespect and running off at the mouth are coming to bite me in the butt.  My mother says that it's only fair and then she giggles.  Not very funny.  As I brace myself for the days ahead with 3 daughters, I hope that I can exibit as much grace and patience as my mother did.  When my daughter gives me the look, the one I perfected at 14, I am reminded of times past.  As I pushed against every barrier and tried to force my independence, my mother watched and waited until the day when I would understand her sacrifice and learn from her words and example.
That must have been a good day~
(My mom, with all 7 daughters and 1 daughter in law.  
Aren't we a hot bunch!)

Being a mother of a teenager may have it's challenges, but I am blessed to face them.  There is pure joy when I watch my daughter make good choices.  My heart breaks when failures come or mistakes are made, but I recognize the growth that follows.  I rejoice as she developes a personal relationship with the Savior and I'm especially grateful that she is mine forever.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer's End

The smell of clean cut grass. Warm summer storms with a lightning show to rival any 4th of July. Lying with my children on foam pads in the backyard in the early morning watching the sky as meteors shoot by. Lagoon! Camping at the lake and watching my children frolic in the waves. Night games - loud obnoxious teenagers - mine included. The sound of crickets lulling me to sleep. Camp - girls camp, scout camp, weeks away from home! Lazy days and mounds of laundry. Sleeping in...staying up late. Movies, picnics and good friends. Family reunions. Game night! Home grown tomatoes - I could use some, mine only grew 6 inches, sad little plants. Pedicures and flip flops. Beautiful sunsets. Sunflowers. Long walks with my husband, holding hands - no children allowed.

All good things must come to an end. Yes, I know, it's only the middle of August. But the day my children enter the school grounds with backpacks in tow, the fast pace returns and the lazy days of summer are gone for a spell.

As I walk my children to school, they catch up with their friends on the sidewalk and are a bit annoyed that their mother is in tow, along with the handy dandy camera. Such an exciting day. New friends, new teacher, new backpack. No kisses please! They pose for the camera and then they're off on a new adventure - without me...

Shortly the weather will start to cool and the leaves will fall from the trees. With colder weather comes change. Do I like change? I accept it. My children grow. Every day a new adventure.