oh the joy of parenting a teenager! my oldest is going to be 16 in March! I can hardly believe it! We decided to not sell J's "daisy duke" jeep and keep it for M as she gets ready to embark on her driving career. Here in BC you have to get your Learners Licence first and then I think after about a year you can take the test for your "N"..new drivers licence and after 2 years of no-incidences )if you get an infraction you have to start the 2 years all over again!) then you can take yet another test and if successful, you finally pass and are a certified driver! YIKES! I had my learners and then my actual licence within 3 months of turning 16...and for about $100....from what I have heard by the time she passes her final driving test it will cost us close to $600....um what is that about? I know that teenagers are the highest demographic killed in car accidents and they cause many of them so I know there is thought behind the rules, it just seems like such a long time... but what do I know? I do have to say the thought of her driving scares me! My most prized possession driving?! how did this happen.
I was looking back through old photos last night and I was amazed at how young she looked just a few days ago...wasn't it just a few days ago?! I am perplexed at the time warp we seem to be in. It doesn't feel like she is old enough to be studying for her learners! Just even tonight she was looking up the courses she will need to take in grade 11 and 12 to get into the college program she wants. College? really??!! how is this possible? sorry if I seem to be repeating myself but I am at a loss to understand how this all came to be?! hence my over use of ? and !
Being a parent of a teenager is all new ground for me, her being my oldest and all. At times I feel blind folded stumbling around in the dark with my arms feebly feeling in front of me. For the most part she is a great kid..ok I should say she IS a great kid! we have had some challenges along the way, not sure why I thought they would be easy like I was..ok my family is NOT allowed to comment on this post... this is lala's world and I can tell like I see it :) .... There have been moments along the way...some quite recent... when decisions she has made have literally knocked the wind out of me, hurt me to my core and left images of a small blond large eyed little girl raising her hands up for me to pick her up while she tucked her small pudgy dimpled hand behind my head dug her fingers in and started to play with my hair....... how could this be the same child? Moments where I stand before her mouth agape searching the recesses of my memories to find a glimpse of me in the same situation, trying to grapple with what did I do at that age? how did I react? what was I feeling? and other times when my eyes just fill, my heart breaks and sorrow fills me. These are the moments that leave impressions and fears of a future yet to be determined and the knowledge that I am loosing my hold on the helm of her ship that is her journey in this life. Dreams I have for her to travel the world, touch others with her gifts of mercy and the wonder of the woman she is to become all flash before my eyes when I hold her in my arms.
J and I have been trying to make some decisions about our immediate future, the house up North still unsold, work and church. A big driving force in our decision to move up North was M, she was being bullied at her school and had a huge lack in solid friendships to sustain her through pubescent girls ( a world complete unto itself! ). It was a great decision for her. We watched her bloom up there, grow into more confidence and regain the inner strength she had had as a child. She also had to grow up fast, watching her daddy struggle to walk and do the simplest of tasks will do that to a child. Especially the oldest child in the family. She had to help me more as I could not do it all and the steps of us all having to do more and stand together more became predominant in our family. Some effects of this are not so great and we deal with that with the girls regularly. My hope and prayer is that the positive in having to band together... although at times I really think the girls are going to rip each other apart, they can be so viscous sometimes!.... that they have learned a strength in the team. That they have learned to stand no matter what is thrown at them and they can handle it with grace and integrity. Although there are moments...blips.... as I referred to them a few posts ago... that they go through as well. Just last week when J and I were heading home from the Neurologist M called us and to make a long story short she ended up having a "scene" in class and walked out rather disrespectfully on her teacher. As passive as I am a lot of the time this time I knew I had to GO and DO, so I waited outside her class to be over and told her I was there... got to love texting!... and met her teacher and we had a really great chat, the 3 of us. M had a moment and didn't know how to deal with it and handled herself badly. It happens. She does however has to learn to handle her blips while still showing respect to others. The teacher was great, very understanding and gave M permission to simply say " I am having a moment, I need a time out" when M is struggling with her fears...mostly worrying about her dad's health and whatever else it is a 15 almost 16 year old's emotionally and hormonally charged body has to deal with! It was a humbling lesson that I have to say she took with grace and dignity. A petal of the woman inside her unfolding. Beautiful.
M has amazing friends. In fact, the friends she has down here are really really great. They are all really good girls, all with plans for their futures and have families standing behind them. A pretty great combination. To even think about moving back up North and uproot her .. again ... is just not an option. We have to sell our house up North no matter what the cost.
We also have decided to put her in a local youth group for many reasons but I think I am half way to writing a novel here and don't want to bore you to tears!! I think we may have found one, she really likes it! I think I will leave it there and continue this later....phew long winded or what?!!