When Did My Baby Become a Teenager?

I am now the mother of a teenager. It’s hard to fathom. My memory is dreadful these days but I can still remember the birth of my oldest daughter so vividly. I held her in my arms and I just stared at her, unable to comprehend reality. I remember thinking, “Did I really make a person?” People do it every day and yet it felt crazy to me at that moment, that a person could just create another person. It felt like The Twilight Zone. But there she was looking up at me, real as can be.


Those little eyes were so innocent and sweet. Those eyes? Well, they wore winged eyeliner on Sunday night. Now, they’re filled with a curiosity and in typical teenage fashion, sometimes rage. “All of my friends are allowed to jump off of a bridge, why can’t I?”


The tiny fingers that once fit in my hand are now adorned with polish and jewelry, creating art projects that win awards.

Those short, jelly legs now carry a child that is the same height as I am. She steals my clothes and the ensuing discussion reminds me of me and my own mom. I was just borrowing my mother’s clothes a few years ago, how can I have a teenager already?

I knew she was growing up. Of course she’s not that itty bitty baby I share pictures of from birth. What got me was the photo from last year. She was turning twelve and she still looked so young with such a baby face.

This year, there is no mistaking the teenager. Her eyes are always done up with shadow and liner. She’s learned to use a hair straightener (except remembering to turn it off!). She tells me she’s going to see her crush at lunch. Her CRUSH? Is it Diego from Dora the Explorer? Because that’s the age you should be in my head! She should still be calling M&Ms “nemnems” and getting excited about the newest Disney movie.

For Christmas this year, she wants things like makeup and clothes. My child is the age where they actually ask for clothes. There is not one toy on her list. I don’t know how to process that. Not one single toy.

My child, this teenager is completely her own person already. Her taste in music is well-established. Unfortunate, but well-established. Ha! She has brand preferences for her clothing and a specific style of jeans that she wants for Christmas.

If ever I was astounded at the idea of people making more people, it’s now. My daughter came from me and now she’s full of personality and opinions. She’s sometimes pretty hilarious and always very creative. She’s gorgeous and stylish.

The next several years will be eventful but I hope that as she grows, she stays as close with us as she can. She made the decision to be baptized all on her own and I do pray that she continues to walk that path. I won’t always have the right answers, I’m never sure I even have any right answers, but God will. I pray for nothing but the best for my teenager in years that I know will become difficult and confusing as it was for so many of us. I pray that she will understand that her parents and family will always love her, no matter what.

If you will, pray for us on this path of raising a teenager and before we know it, four more teenagers. We are now entering a new chapter in our lives and I don’t know what to expect but I am hopeful and excited to see what lies on the other side of it.

Happy birthday to my baby who is no longer a baby at all.


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