Yesterday, She Was a Baby

My cousin and his wife had their first baby earlier this week. She is impossibly beautiful, incredibly tiny, and totally sweet. It’s exciting to watch them begin their parenting journey.

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.

I didn’t think about Barbies and packing lunches. Bunk beds and slumber parties. I certainly never considered what it would be like to teach a kid to tie her shoes.

I never imagined showing a tween how to fix her hair. I never pictured having a teen on Facebook. Or, helping her file a police report after an attempted purse snatching. (Yeah, that happened!)

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.

Letting go.


This post is linked up to Pour Your Heart Out with my friend Shell.

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Article by justheather

Heather Sokol is the married mother of 4 amazing, active children. They have created in her a Sports Mom, Scout Mom, Allergy Mom & avid coupon clipper. Is that miscellaneous enough for you? She shares her deals & tips at Inexpensively.com and reports progress on learning to be a grownup at JustHeather.com. justheather tagged this post with: , Read 91 articles by
9 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Angie says:

    Noooooooo!!!! Stop! I have a 15 month old. She’s going to stay that way forever! LALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!

    Sigh. The days are long, but the years are short, aren’t they?

  2. Oh, wow. You and I certainly wrote about similar things today, didn’t we? It’s sometimes overwhelming knowing what we’re getting ourselves into. I LOVE the line where you say “I remember being a teen” – you’re so right that’s why it’s going to (possibly) be so much harder for this part of parenting! Glad to have met you!

  3. Caroline says:

    Wow, I’m 35 too, but I’ve only been married 5 years. I have a 3 year old daughter, and a 7 month old baby girl! I always thought of the preteen years though. I new their would be RETRIBUTION! I’m not a fan either!!

  4. Tracie says:

    I have an eight year old, and I read this alternating between nodding my head in agreement, and wanting to pretend it never happened – because it seems to be speeding by so fast, and I’m not ready for that letting go at the end. Scary.

  5. Shell says:

    It all goes so dang fast, doesn’t it?

    My sil is having her first baby this summer. I bet she hasn’t thought past the baby stage either. It’s hard to.

  6. Robbie says:

    I think if they talked about life beyond babies at showers…there might be a lot fewer babies!

  7. Katrina says:

    It’s never easy on me emotionally when my kids get older…when they grow out of that babyhood stage, that’s always hard for me. I have one in college, and I have one graduating high school this year, and her sister will follow next year…and soon all the rest of them will be doing the same. My youngest is three years old, and I just want to grab her and freeze her in time. They change, they will grow up…but me? I’ll still be the same old mom, wishing they were young again. Sigh.

  8. [...] a baby. Or even a toddler. I see a little boy, fitting in just under the youngest. Since this is exactly the opposite of how I saw all of our other children, I knew there was something to [...]

  9. [...] And, we’ve been down that road before… [...]

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