December 20, 2013

Think Out Loud #24 ~ Eep, She's 11!!

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Last weekend Brady and I had our daughter's birthday party. She just turned 11 on December 12th. We had a party for family, and then afterward took a couple of her friends to Dave & Buster's, then they stayed the night. We all had a ton of fun!  


Look Ma, I got an Equestria girl! *Rainbow Dash* 

"Who says money doesn't grow on trees??" quipped Janie. 
That girl is one clever chica.  
A very cool idea for a present from her grandmas. 
She struck gold! 

My favorite part - birthday cake! Yum! XD

Brady picked out multicolored candles - cool dad, huh? :D

Jack's belated birthday present from Aunt Shelly and cousin Mila. 
He said, "I love it!!" when he unwrapped it. 
He wants to be Darth Vader SO badly, lol.


Mila wants to grab Jack's shoulder, lol.

I wish I had taken pics at Dave & Buster's, but I was lazy plus Jack and I were on a mission to win something awesome. We ended up winning a Nerf gun for him - he's super jealous of Janie's Nerf Rebelle bow and arrow. 
He says he doesn't care if it's girly, lol.

Ok, so what do I do now? I can't believe just a couple years ago I was freaking out about Janie turning 9, and here she is 11.  That was what my very first blog post was about. So many people out there think having kids is something they're entitled to, but I see it as a privilege. I didn't do anything to deserve a daughter like her, but I happen to be lucky enough to have this extraordinary young lady in my life. 

So how do I deal with the fact that she's growing up and is eventually going to keep us, her parents, at a distance while she's figuring out who she is and what she wants from life? I obviously don't want to keep her from growing as her own person because we're raising an adult, not a child. We're raising her to become independent and to navigate this world we live in with the skills she's going to need (I watch a lot of Dr. Phil, lol). But I miss those times when she used to sit with me in my chair, and we'd draw pictures together or play tic-tac-toe. 

Yesterday, I dug out my photo albums to find a photo of me from high school for my blog tour stop for the novel Class of '98 by A.L. Player. Plus, I remember Jack's first Christmas back in '09 so well. He was just a month old, and I dressed him up like Santa, an outfit from my mother-in-law (I'll post pics soon). I promised him I'd show him pictures from when he was a baby, and he oohed and aahed over them, lol. It was cute. 

But Janie wouldn't sit next to us when I asked her to. She said she'd rather sit and look at them alone. It really hurt my feelings, but I said okay. I couldn't help thinking God it's starting already. 

Yet she had a music program at the high school the night of her birthday on the 12th, and when the curtains opened, I could see her looking for us in the audience. So I think she's doing a push-and-pull kind of thing right now. 

I was horrified last year when I realized she was hanging out with different friends, and I had no idea who. I am staying plugged in to her life and what's going on, but there's only so long she'll talk. She has to do it herself on her own terms. If I ask her, she doesn't even say yes or no loud enough for me to hear, and I have to ask her again, which really annoys her. Which in turn annoys me because I feel like it's disrespectful. 

Anyone who has kids or not, who'd like to start a support group with me, just let me know. I sure could use one! O.o Am I overreacting? How do I accept she's growing up so fast? 



  1. Oh my gosh, it's the back talking that really gets me. I don't know how my mom put the fear of God into her rules, but I didn't break them. Okay, I did, but I never talked back to her and when I lied it was like a scared mouse lying to Brutus the junkyard dog! Will's latest thing is "never mind." I'll ask him about his day, "never mind." I'll ask him why he looks sad..."never mind." When he sings to Tayler Swift in the car and I ask him if he likes her, you guessed it. When John hits eleven I better have this thing down because he's going to be trouble! He's trouble already. First day of preschool and he's in a timeout. Sees a pretty girl and he tells her she's beautiful. Sees a tatted up pierced up cranky man climbing off his motorcycle, John is in hero worship mode. "Wow." That's it. And he's five. And smart. Today he asked me, "Do you know what 3 + 3 + 2 is?" I had to add it up in my head! He answered before me. Dangit!

    I would have freaked about the new friends. I would have been sad about the pictures thing. But you are amazing, an inspiration. You're your mom's daughter that's for sure because there's so much love and faith and hope for your kids. Plus, you and your husband are so with it. She'll always look for you. That's the way it works. I want to be in your support group.

    1. Hey Robyn, I'm so sorry I've taken so long to get back to you! >.<

      I know - the back talking has got to go! It gets me, too. My dad put the fear of God in me, lol. I never spoke back to him - maybe a few times once I turned 18. I always got caught in my lies. Our town is too small to be anywhere other than where you say you are. One time before a high school football game, he didn't want me to ride with any new drivers, but I did. He was going to the bank across the street and totally caught me going into the candy store. He was close enough to catch me, but too far away to give me hell until I got home after the game. LOL!

      I'd almost rather get a "never mind" than no answer at all, lol. But I know I wouldn't feel like that if that's what Janie actually started saying. That's so cute he sings to Taylor Swift! Janie LOVES her! Haha, never mind! ;)

      I know what you mean about John hitting eleven 'cause I feel the same way about Jack turning 11. Jack is totally going to cause me to get calls from the principal's office when he goes into kindergarten. I've already warned his teacher (they give siblings the same teachers for each grade) that he's a hellion, lol.

      Thank you so much, Robyn. You probably have no idea how much your words mean to me. Especially because 99% I feel like such a failure that I don't feel like I'm my mother's daughter. You have the honor of being the first member of my support group. :)

    2. You are right about preferring "never mind" because John plays the silent game and I feel like I'm going to burst out of my skin and throw the biggest "talk to me" tantrum ever!

    3. I've had those days where I just want to crawl out of my skin and demand answers. Those are the not-so-great days! >.<

  2. This is an amazing TOL, Jennifer. I know exactly how you feel about kids growing up too quickly. My oldest will be driving soon! Gah! How did that happen?!? I don't have any words of wisdom for you. But I will say that I think you'll figure it out...because you care! You're a good momma, Jennifer! :)

    1. Thank you, Brandee. I don't even know how I'm going to handle it when my oldest is about to start driving. >.< I hope I figure something out because whether I like it or not, they're growing up. :'( Thanks, Brandee! Your words of support are exactly what I needed to hear.


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