My 16 Year Old
My oldest daughter turns 16 on Monday.
My first thought is “She can’t be that old already can she” and my next thought is one of pride and worry. Isn’t that every mom’s right?
I am SO proud of Morgan.
Almost 17 years ago I was given the unexpected news that I was pregnant. Then a few moments later, was told I either had an eptopic pregnancy, or my appendix was about to burst. Either way I was told, I was having surgery SOON.
That I might loose this precious baby I’d just learned about.
Then I looked at that thought. I wanted her fiercely, she was MY CHILD.
Understand. I was 17 at the time.
Just going into my Senior year of high school. I was so very lucky and loved in who my parents and some of my family. Other girls in my condition had been kicked out by their parents, they were living on the street. Or they were forced to marry in one case.
My parents. Well, my mom is a nurse. My dad the foreman of a cattle ranch at the time. Mom just did what nurses do. She became patient, supportive and nurturing, and taught me in 8 shorts months how to do it too. My dad. Well he wasn’t happy. Not at all. But the minute he saw his Grandchild. Well, lets just say Morgan LOVED taking naps on his bare rounded belly LOL.
Morgan was two weeks old here at my High School Graduation (and I graduated with a 3.8 gpa thank you).
Morgan was an extremely articulate child, her first ‘word’ was at 9 months. Where she said “I hungy Mommy, wan buhsetti” (and I was making spaghetti)
She started walking the next day. I didn’t know that a 18-19 year old mother was worthy of such genius. But I’d darn sure try my hardest. I took all the parents I’d ever witnessed, from my family, from my friends parents and from people my family had been close too. I examined their parenting styles, and I decided what was good, and what I would toss. Then I instituted my nightly cross-examination. Where I would lay in bed at night and really LOOK at what I had done with my child/ren that day. What was good, what could be better, and where I messed up. To me this has been so important as a Mother. To look at myself truly, and say ‘you messed up’. Tomorrow is another day, you can do better tomorrow. No guilt, no yelling, just truth and the will to do better. I think we could all use that.
Now my Morgan. She’s one of those teens that teachers have been telling me since she started school what a pleasure she is to work with. How awesome and smart she is. How sarcastic and funny. What a great parent I must be in association with how cool she is (which I haven’t always found to be necessarily true). Yes, she’s hit her teen mood swings.
But the difference between her as a baby, still in diapers, telling me to read to her. Versus the difference in her now, telling me she is leaving with friends to go take care of responsibilities. Both times she TOLD me, but both times, there was an ask in there too.
Morgan is on her way toward leaving me in a few short years. And I pray that I’ve been parent enough to give her an internal guide on that pathway she’s going to be walking solo. I think so.
She’s pretty awesome