Sunday, March 5, 2017

On Lorraine's Fourteenth Birthday

What is it like being your mom at age fourteen?

It’s finally having you on Facebook with me so that I can share funny Harry Potter memes and grammar jokes that only you and I appreciate.

It’s driving to Fort Wayne to see your White Creek friends, singing loudly about missing Mayberry, and marveling at the wide-open spaces, cornfields, cows, and trees. It’s breathing in deep to let the country fill my soul, and noticing you doing the same thing next to me while you roll down the window even though it’s winter.

It is car dancing shamelessly to rap songs we almost know, proud to be loud.  I notice you are watching me close to see if I’m going to sing the swear word that we both know is coming. (I did.)

It’s seeing you snuggle your brother in church, while I snuggle your other brother; it’s marveling at the cuteness of the baby baptized and nudging you to make sure you see it too, but you are already smiling with your hand on your heart, just like I am.

It’s relying on you for a hundred things, like getting everyone to school on time and making sure Marcus is wearing pants. It’s receiving texts like, “Can you talk to Seth?” “We’re out of bread.” “Peter won’t wear socks.” “Marcus won’t run his laps.” “Can we go to Khol's again?” and of course “Can I stay up and read?”

It’s forgetting how to “adult” in front of you, and spilling coffee on my robe, again, while you laugh at me. It’s almost running out of gas on the way home, and when the warning light comes on, you give me a “grandma Lorraine” look of reproof.

It’s dusting off old parts of my brain so I can help you with math homework, sending you to your father if I get stuck, and watching him rub his head and puzzle over functions until he finally conquers.

It’s hitting the volleyball back and forth 536 times until my arms are bright red and I am feeling my age just a tiny bit but I don’t let you see it and we high five and post it on Facebook.

It’s DJ'ing for your dance and trying to walk the line of having fun without embarrassing you too much, and it’s being glad you don’t care so much about those things. It’s the pressure of picking the next slow song knowing that you may or may not have the first slow dance of your life and trying not to watch as you do or don’t dance.

It’s hearing the noise of your irrational euphoria, the joy you have in being ALIVE that shoots from your fingertips into the piano, and it comes out of your mouth in song and wit and teasing your siblings all day long and late into the night.

It’s knowing our days together are growing short.  I might like to hold you close inside a blanket tent where we read books together for the next ten years, but it’s not camping season, it’s growing season, and you are growing and blooming faster than corn in an Indiana cornfield.

It’s accepting a rose from your hand on eighth grade night at your very last basketball game, and watching you smile and shine as you boldly face the next chapter in your life.

It's realizing that the teenage years aren't completely awful, they're exciting, too; and it's thanking God a million times for making me a mama to this girl who blooms so beautifully.

It’s terrifying, exciting, and lovely.
It brings me to my feet (to kitchen dance with you) and to my knees (to pray.)

Happy, blessed fourteenth year of life, my dear daughter.

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