At the risk of sounding like a teenager, I hate you, you ruined my life.
I’ve been good all these years. I’ve held it together, figuratively and physically, but, today my baby girl, the one whose fingers and toes I swear I first counted minutes ago, turns fifteen, and so I say to you: WTF, dude?
I used to roll my eyes at those old people who talked about the good old days, who longed for a simper time with an extra spoonful of all the prerequisite clichés, but now, Father T, I catch myself laughing at my kids’ panic attacks over their 10% iPhone battery life, explaining to two dumbfounded faces about this thing called pen and paper and how, when I was their age (I must incorporate a pause to allow for their horror imagining me as their age) my friends and I used to actually write notes to each other and not text. I must incorporate another pause to allow for their lengthy gasps at the thought of not having an iPhone. This message somehow leads the conversation towards these things called cassette tapes, and even, good God, how, if you had a question about any old thing, you’d have to wait and go look it up later in the Encyclopedia Britannica and, no, child, for the hundredth time, there was no such thing as Google when I was your age. At that point the children give me that incredulous look of disbelief and pity and remote misunderstanding, and I realize: I’ve been officially placed on the old people’s team.
I still wanna believe I’m sorta hip. I’ve got the spiky short bleached blonde hair. I tweet. I listen to Katy Perry roar. Often.
But having a daughter turn fifteen isn’t doing me any favors age-wise.
For starters, my ass started to grow.
Just like that.
Like a piece of gum left out on a park bench, it spread. The tummy didn’t want to get left behind I guess, so it grew too. My pride looked the other way as my petite pant size got bigger and bigger and bigger, until, damnit who cares. One just has to be comfortable.
And there’s the bread issue.
Good God, I can ease off sugar, sweets, whole milk, wine even, but, bread? I can’t seem to part from the stuff.
It all goes back to my daughter, turning fifteen years old today.
I am thrilled to have a fifteen-year old, really.
I don’t miss the diapers, the toddler meltdowns, or even the cute elementary-school hand-painted flowerpots. I like witnessing whom my daughter is becoming, even if it involves a lot of wrestling with her mother.
A lot of arguing.
A heavy dollop of drama.
A ton of bread eating.
It’s all good for the soul, even if there are days it requires crusty, hearty bread that makes your bum grow.
You with the older daughters, stop shaking your heads. I know you are mumbling, “oh just wait…” I don’t want to hear it. Not today. Not when I am crash-landing on the fact that my baby is already a fifteen-year old young lady. On a good day, when the moon isn’t full, the algebra workload is manageable, and the planets are aligned just right, I may even get a hug, or better yet, an “I love you” from said girl. It’s happened. And when it does, it’s quite a wonderful thing. Worth capturing on video, uploading on You Tube or even posting it on a blog. Because even though I may have earned the right to dole out clichés, she may grow up but she’ll always be my baby, I’m still cool that way. Take that, Father Time.