Friday, October 10, 2008
it's the teen's turn
i write so many posts about the bean, and i know i give updates on the teen and what she's up to fairly regularly too, but i realized today that she deserves a post that's all about her.
she and i have been through so much together. there was a time when she was all i had - at least on a regular, day-to-day basis. and i can't even imagine life without her.
she came into our lives fairly easily - once the ex and i decided we were ready to start a family, it only took a month of trying before that pregnancy test gave me that happy "+" sign. and like my experience with growing the bean, those 9-ish months were some of the happiest of my life.
i was a week past my due date when the doctor decided to schedule me for an induction. i remember walking around in a fog for the rest of that day, excited and nervous and anxious with the realization that i was finally going to have that baby girl in my arms. it's kind of a weird feeling, knowing that within hours, that life you've been growing and protecting and loving is coming at last.
i went in at 10:00 the following morning. after completing paperwork and being examined, i was put on pitocin and sat in my hospital room to wait. at 5:00, my water broke, and within the next few hours, contractions began in earnest. the hours went by in a big, pain-filled blur - i refused an epidural (being a chicken shit, i didn't want the needle) but accepted some kind of crappy drug that just made me feel extra lethargic. mistake! and when i was finally dilated to 10, i couldn't muster up the energy to push properly.
they tried the vacuum extractor. they busted out the wicked-looking forceps. they tried everything under the sun until finally, i'd been pushing for two hours and that baby just wasn't coming out. i ended up signing the consent form for an emergency c-section, which i didn't want - so i begged the doctors to let me try one more time, and on the next contraction, i had the ex and about four nurses literally pushing down on my belly to get her out.
and amazingly, happily, wonderfully - she was born. it was 2:40 on a thursday morning in may, and i was finally a mom.
she was a wonderful baby - so easy, just like the bean. and i was a lot more diligent about sticking to a routine with her, with scheduled naps, bath time, bedtime, etc. she spit out her pacifier at 8 months, crawled and then walked at 10 months, off the bottle by about 14 months, and completely potty trained by the time she was 2.
and when she was 4, i made the decision that changed our lives forever - i left the ex to live on my own and find the happiness and fulfillment that was lacking in my life. it was the toughest AND the easiest thing i'd ever done - all of a sudden, i was solely responsible for myself.
i loved it.
we had a little one-bedroom apartment on the third floor. we had practically no furniture (i'd walked away with just the very bare minimum, because it just wasn't worth fighting for), very little money, and we lived on mac & cheese and ramen for a while - but good god, was i happy. the two of us would go to mcdonald's for breakfast on sunday mornings - a splurge for us back then - to munch on breakfast and play in the ball pit. sometimes we only had $5 to get us through the week, but we had everything we needed, and we had each other. some evenings i'd lay on the floor and she'd sit on my back with a bucket full of hair clips and "do" my hair for hours while we giggled and watched a disney movie on tape.
the years have absolutely flown by. she's pissed me off and i've annoyed the shit out of her countless times. but we never let a day go by without an "i love you" (even if it's only via text message), and there are hugs and kisses every day that we're together. she walked me down the aisle when i married the hub, and during that ceremony he and i said vows not only to each other, but to her as well. she's my constant companion during my silly adventures, and we turn to each other for advice and to share funny stories.
she and i are constantly mistaken for sisters whenever we go out, and we giggle every time it happens. we're both fully aware of how lucky we are to have a relationship like ours - she tells me that most of her friends avoid spending time with their parents as much as possible, which i totally get. but we have a blast together! we have silly inside jokes, and there are so many times when all it takes is a look, and we dissolve into uncontrollable laughter. and the lines of communication are open and free. she's told me lots of things about boys and her friends and her feelings, and is comfortable enough for the most part to ask me about stuff that can be awkward and embarrassing as hell. you know what i'm talking about here.
she had an assignment for english class a couple of weeks ago to write an essay about someone she admires and has shaped her life. and when she was telling me about it, i said jokingly "so, did you write about nick jonas?"
we laughed together and then she said "no, actually, i wrote about you."
and then i couldn't speak for a while. of course, i'm not allowed to read the essay, but knowing that she chose to write about me was enough. more than enough.
obviously, i'm her parent first and foremost. and i don't hesitate when the time comes for me to deliver a stern lecture, dole out a punishment, or whatever needs to be done. and those times suck ass, i won't lie. but she's still a kid - my kid - and i'm determined to raise her to be a sweet, smart, polite, and thoughtful woman.
and she's growing up to be just that! i'm so proud to be the teen's mom. she's beautiful inside and out, she's considerate, and she's perceptive as hell. she picks up on stuff that i wouldn't have imagined she could. she's so helpful and proud of being a big sister to the bean. and she possesses wisdom beyond her years. i suppose that stems from the fact that she's lived quite a life already - and she's only thirteen!
i hope we stay as close and happy as we are forever. i love this girl so much, i'm so proud of her, and i can't wait to watch her grow even more in the years to come.