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.


  1. Love how you articulate what I'm sure has happened to all of us at one time or another! My hair happened the first day of my senior year...chopped it ALL off...what was I thinking?
    Also remember thinking I knew more than my mom did when I was a teenager...if only I knew what I know now:)
    My 14 yr old is now goes by FAST!

  2. Ahh the mother's curse! You will undoubtedly see your daughters safely through the teen years but believe me, you never quit worrying about them. We have 6 daughters and 2 sons so I know a little about what your mother and now you are going through. Hope to see you perform again sometime soon!