15 years ago, I was pregnant with my own first child. She was impossibly beautiful, not so tiny, and totally sweet. Today, she’s still impossibly beautiful, no where near tiny, and, well, not so sweet. Teenagers are like that.
No one mentions that at the baby shower. None of the unsolicited parenting advice you get when you’re pregnant covers mouthy teens. Or, sassy tweens. Or, even whiny preschoolers.
I just never thought past the baby.
Every time I was pregnant, I pictured a tiny baby. Who would one day grow into a sweet toddler. And, that’s as far as my imagination took me.
I never thought about where I would be now—35 years old, married nearly 15 years, with a kid who’s headed to high school in a few months. I remember thinking about diapers and feeding the baby. Cribs and blankets. Maybe even potty training. You know, forever down the road.
It makes each new stage a constant surprise. The first day of school. The first spelling test. The first tween holiday wishlist with no toys. The first time a teen asks to go to the mall with her friends—without you. In just 3 weeks, I’ll be taking her downtown for her high school entrance exams.
High school. High. School.
But, now I can finally start to anticipate. I remember being a teen. For the first time since toddlerhood, I kinda know what’s coming. And, I’m totally not a fan.
The first boyfriend. The first school dance. Driver’s Ed. Prom night. Graduation.