It’s time to take a step back and celebrate my beautiful daughter, Maddie and her 15th turn around the sun (which happened in March. I’m well aware of how late I’m getting with posts).
I’m not going to lie: raising a teenage daughter is hard. Really hard. Trying to navigate Maddie’s emotions (and my own) and wants as she grows into a woman is difficult. I have yelled at her, been frustrated to the point of tears, have taken her phone away as punishment. But through all of this, I know one thing to be true.
No matter what she does, I’ll always love her. Unconditionally (unless she becomes a republican).
I also know (so I guess I know 2 things for sure) that the majority of my fears come from my own mishaps as a teenager. I worry because I DON’T WANT HER TO MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES I DID. The good news is she’s not very much like me–she’s so much lovelier. She has so much confidence. She navigates social situations with an ease I couldn’t imagine at her age.
But there are still things to worry about. Some are the same as when I was growing up: drugs, alcohol, boys, accidents. And some are new: social media.
This is not easy. I want to read all her text messages and respond to the inappropriate ones on her behalf. I want to find the right boyfriend for her. I want to make sure she doesn’t have sex until she’s in a committed relationship with a boy I like and trust. I want to schedule her homework time. Hell, I want to do her homework. I want to pick the college she goes to. I want to find her the job that will teach her the most.
I want to do all these things. But I won’t. And that’s because Maddie–for the most part–has made being her mom easy. And so the real learning has to come from myself–I have to let her fall on her own, make her own mistakes, and foster a relationship that allows her to be comfortable to come to me when she needs help.
I don’t know if I’m doing a good job. Or if I’m even “good enough” (as my fiend Sally will say). But I do know that I’m trying to let go of the reins and let Maddie be her own person.
When it comes down to it,really, Maddie’s my best-friend (even if I’m not hers), and I rely on her more than anyone else in the world. Not just for help around the house either. But to learn from and grow from. She’s my hero. We’ve been in this life together from the onset, and she has taught me much more than I think I’ve taught her.
Another trip around the sun. Another year she grows older. Another year of learning for me. Happy birthday to my hero.
Here are some pictures of Maddie from before her birthday to her birthday:
My girl wears Chucks to dances. I can’t tell you how proud I am of that.
I am so jealous of her athletic abilities.
She’s always there for her brother, even if that means they’re fighting. But this time, they had a dance party, which turned into a hug party.
I’d bet that even Kirby would say that Maddie’s his hero.
Her birthday party at the same Japanese restaurant we’ve been going to her whole life.:
Luke and Cate celebrating Maddie.
the staff singing her birthday song!
Proof that she’s the favorite grandchild. This made her day,
Isn’t she lovely?
Breakfast before school on her actual birthday.
A small party with her friends at our house to celebrate some more:
And just one more photo to show that the thing we might all love best about Maddie is how goofy and weird she can be!