It was bound to happen. The little girl who used to look like this:
turned into the young woman that looks like this:
Yep, the oldest turned 13 on her special Christmas Eve birthday. I have officially entered the sometimes gratifying, sometimes insane years of parenting a teenager. (And I’ll be here for years to come.) K’s thirteenth year was a good one. She is starting to spend more and more time with a great group of friends. She is always the top text user on our cell phone bill. And if she isn’t taller than me before next year’s birthday interview, I’ll be shocked.
She ran track on her middle school team and decided it was not a sport for her. She ran another season of cross country and the full 4.5 mile Thanksgiving day race and is ready to run more with me. She pushed herself harder on swim team than we’ve ever seen her push and it’s been exciting to see her become more competitive.
She played in the deepest snow she’s ever seen. Toured new museums and some old favorites. Hiked new trails. And thrived at her week of summer camp. She jumped in the waves of the Atlantic and Lake Michigan. Toured battlefields – sometimes grumpily. And was splashed by the waters of Niagara Falls.
She had a lot of firsts this year too:
- her first whitewater rafting trip,
- her first trip to the magical mouse in Disney World,
- and her first big concert: Taylor Swift.
She’s doing more and more things without us, which is perhaps the biggest sign of her age. Yet she also seems to enjoy the days she just gets to be at home, and that’s something I hope never goes away. Here are a few of our new teenager’s favorite things:
color: aqua blue
vegetable: green beans
part of school: lunch. Editor’s question: do you have a favorite class? Yes, algebra.
thing to do: read
movie: Remember the Titans
song: She Will Be Loved, by Maroon 5
game: Ticket to Ride (This might be her family’s favorite game to play too. She also discovered the card game ‘hand & foot’ this winter break and loves it.)
book: The A-List series
restaurant: Steak & Shake and she highly recommends the double fudge cookie dough shake
holiday: Christmas because you get to see so much family
animal: cat, because they are independent but still cuddly
What did you request for your birthday dinner?
Bacon Cheeseburgers and cheesecake with caramel and chocolate swirled on top
Tell me about your friends:
They are hilarious. They are always really nice and they are honest. One of my favorite memories with my friends this year is at C’s party we had to do this scavenger hunt. Every clue led us to a new part of a clown costume so by the end we all looked hysterical. And then we marked black lines under our eyes like football players do so we’d be tough clowns. So funny.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
A pediatrician. I like to work with kids and medicine seems like an interesting field. (She’s even been looking at colleges that have good pre-med programs.)
If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
Probably a trip through Europe because it would be interesting to see the different cultures. And it would be cool to go out of the country.
What do you love about each person in our family?
I like to joke around with Dad. And I like to talk about books with you (mom). I just like to hang out with E. And with J, I like to play pretend because it’s cute to see how involved he gets in our games.
What were some of your best memories from this past year?
Getting a divisional cut in swimming (first time ever!). Dropping times in all my swim meets so far. The Disney vacation of a lifetime with just my aunt & uncle, I LOVE that place! Virginia Beach – the whole week is awesome. My cousins M & A (who are 4 & 2) because they are so adorable. Niagara Falls was my favorite trip. I really liked doing my first running race, the Drumstick Dash. OH! And getting to see Taylor Swift in concert on the trip to St. Louis with my friend and her family.
What are some of your wishes for the coming year?
More cuts in times at swim meets. To do a Jr. Triathlon this summer. To make Jr. Honor’s Society and to have straight A’s on my report card.
Each year I interview my children on their birthdays and write a post about their year. My hope is that someday these musings will spark special memories. Search for ‘birthday interview’ over there on the right to read previous posts.