My oldest turned 15 on Christmas Eve. A few days before her birthday she said she didn’t feel old enough to be fifteen, “after all it’s only three years away from eighteen.” (She’s always been good at math.) In some ways, I agree with her – she can’t possibly be fifteen already. In other ways, I think she’s definitely old enough. I look at pictures from her from just two years ago and hardly recognize her. She’s grown so much, and in so many ways, over the past year or two. These days I can see glimpses of her future when she walks in the room. It’s bittersweet but joyful all the same.
Her 15th year was an important one. She was Confirmed this spring and started high school this fall.
She started volunteering at the Y as a first step to getting her first job (that will happen later this year). Her friends took her to three big concerts. She soaked in some big city time in Washington D.C. and I think she’d go back tomorrow if I suggested it. Technically it was her second trip to D.C. but she doesn’t really remember the first:
She even put aside her busy social life from time to time and let me take her to Chicago or out for ice cream or to the State Fair or to the Dells. She ran a 5K with me in the summer and we laughed through every mile. She volunteered at my Olympic Tri even though she had to get up VERY early after a day where she got up early for her own swim meet and I loved having her be a part of that day. She spends a lot of time in her room these days (A LOT) but most days she’ll let me peek in for a word or two without even giving me an eye-roll.
She joined the high school swim team and – allow me to brag for a moment – she is undefeated in individual JV events and has won enough points in varsity events to earn her letter if she makes the sectional roster at the end of the season. Being a student athlete is serious business and I’m honestly impressed with how well she is juggling a very demanding courseload with all her practice and meet obligations. This time of year she doesn’t see the sun most days as I drop her off before 6am for practice and pick her up after evening practice at 5pm.
Every year I ask her to tell me a favorite thing about each member of our family. My favorite thing about her these days? Listening to her talk. Hearing her share her experiences, her observations, her stresses, and even her bad jokes. I love witnessing the adult she is becoming. It’s a privilege being her parent.
Here are a few of her favorite things:
food: mac and cheese
vegetable: I don’t like vegetables… I guess carrots
dessert: ice cream
part of school: [[long pause]] before school in the locker bay because I can talk to my friends
sport: to do – swimming, to watch – hockey
thing to do: sleep… no, no watch movies… and sleep.
tv show: Friends
song: I don’t know I like so many. How about favorite groups? I like: The Script, All Time Low, Five Seconds of Summer and that’s good enough.
game: Fooseball! I am the fooseball queen!
book: Fault in Our Stars
restaurant: Panera because I love their mac and cheese
holiday: Christmas because Jesus was born on Christmas. [then her mother asked her to stop being snarky] Because it’s relaxing.
What did you request for your birthday dinner?
Mac and cheese for dinner and chocolate cream pie for dessert.
What is something that can always make you smile?
Friends. Both actual friends and the tv show. And Disney movies. And mac and cheese.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
Disney World. Hawaii. Paris, France. Australia seems nice. And the Dominican Republic seems very warm, sunshiny and vacationy.
What do you love about each person in our family?
I don’t love my family at all. Why do you think I spend so much time in my room? Okay, that makes me sound horrible…
Dad: I like playing fooseball with him.
Mom: I like that you make me good food.
E: She will watch Disney channel reruns with me. The good ones, not the shows from now.
J: He will always watch Disney movies with me.
What were some of your best memories from this past year?
Concerts this summer – One Direction, Train, and Maroon 5. Going to the beach. Our trip to D.C. was fun. Going to Chicago. Confirmation was a special memory. Really, just the normal everyday stuff.
What are some of your wishes for this year?
Make varsity in swimming. Do well in school. I want to ride every ride I can at Disney World. I want to go to Six Flags and the Indianapolis Zoo.
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.