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Do They Have to Grow Up?

Updated on June 19, 2012

The Teen Years

I remember walking in the door from the hospital with my first child in tow, turning to my husband and asking him, "What do we do now?" That was fourteen years ago. That time has passed in the blink of an eye, literally. The days have been LONG, some longer than others, but those years have been short - too short in my opinion.

She is almost a grown-up and it is bittersweet. While I LOVE watching her grow up - she amazes me daily - I am so sad that there is little time left with here before she goes off into the world. I have so much I still want to tell her, so much I still want her to learn, so much she has yet to experience....so much.....

She will be driving next year as a student driver. This is SOOOOO bittersweet. While I cannot wait for her to have a license because it will be such a HUGE help, it is very SCARY, because I will have a teenage driver next summer!! ACK!!

She cannot wait for this priviledge. She is bursting out of her skin because she thinks this is so cool and it will be awesome. I want to tell her to slow down and enjoy her life now while she dreams of next summer. I want her to enjoy her life for what it is now - carefree and filled with idle days in the sun, playing (or should I say hanging out) with her friends. Once she starts driving, there will be car insurance, safety, speed limits to follow, etc.... She will have to get a job to pay for gas (I don't even want to think of what gas will cost next summer!). Her life will be consumed with a lot more worries than what she has now.

She will really have to grow up. Driving a car is a HUGE responsibility. There are no do-overs in a car crash. There is no note from Mom when you get a ticket. There are no second chances. She will have to be responsible and be mature. Yikes! All that in a year!!

So, when I tell her to enjoy herself, I really mean it. When all those responsibilities come around, there will be less time for messing around. Less time for hanging with friends, less time for sleeping in, and less time for all of those things that she will long for as an adult (I still long for nap time).

These are the things that keep me up at night, praying for my children. Praying that they will do what is right, they will learn their life lessons, sooner than later, and that they will be good people that love and serve God.

So, when she had a friend over the other day and I caught them playing with the little one's magnets and making silly things on the door, my heart did a little flip. I can relax a little, because I see that she is still having fun and enjoying her life with her friends. She is being a kid, which makes me happy. I still have my little girl....at least til next summer!

At least she can spell.....
At least she can spell.....
I think it is an alligator attacking a castle....what do they teach them at school?
I think it is an alligator attacking a castle....what do they teach them at school?
The alligator again.  Should I be concerned?
The alligator again. Should I be concerned?
A fishing pole.  Maybe it is to catch the alligator.  What an imagination!!
A fishing pole. Maybe it is to catch the alligator. What an imagination!!

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    • kerlund74 profile image

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      I can really feel this. Great written. My girls turns 11 and 8 this year and I start to feel like you describes. I remember like yesterday when I enjoyed the first year beeing a mother. So wonderful and filled with happiness. But we have them always, we have a place in there hearts, I am sure. But I will miss their presence so much when they leave home one day.

    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      I so understand! My son turned 16 a couple of months ago and is driving. I'm getting as little sleep now as I did when he was a baby (waiting up for him to get home from work). It definitely does go tooooooo fast!

    • pagesvoice profile image

      Dennis L. Page 5 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

      Voted up and interesting. From my perspective,I could relate to your feelings. I am the father of 3 adult daughters and it was with cautious joy we watched them grow and mature. I like to say I gave them roots and I gave them wings and the rest is up to them now. Thankfully they are all thriving and successful women. You will most likely do what I still find myself doing...looking at those long ago childhood pictures with a warm, melancholy heart.

    • AtHomeHeather profile image

      Heather 5 years ago from PA

      Oh what a sweet post! I really enjoyed reading this and it made me think of my little girl (she just turned 4 last month) and how I have to make sure to never take for granted any moment I have with her now! Thank you! Voting up!