Saturday, March 22, 2014

How in the World Did This Happen?

I have a huge problem!
How in the world did this happen?
My baby went from this...
To this....practically overnight!
She went to her first dance ever last night, a semi-formal. 

I'm venturing into a whole new world with a teenage daughter.  I've raised two boys to adulthood and think Dan & I have done a good job.   So far, we are doing pretty good with Emily, but it's certainly a different ballgame.

I do have to say it was fun doing nails and hair and all that "girly" stuff last night.  Dan just hid away in the other room. 

It's hard to navigate my child through the minefield of boys who don't have the best motives and teen girls who can be downright unkind and mean in their comments. Emily's the new kid on the block in her school and it's a small one.  I grew up in a very small school - much smaller than this one.  It wasn't always fun because everyone knew each other and made it their business to tell everyone else exactly what they thought about you.

As I helped my daughter through an emotional time the other night, I realized how much I was like her at the same age.

  • I had more friends who were guys than girls.  I just found it was less drama with the boys.  :-)  While painfully shy around adults, I was outgoing and very friendly at school with my peers.  Emily was told the other day she was "too friendly."  I told her to go on being friendly.  It will serve her well as an adult and both she and God know her motives so not to worry about what others thought. 

  • When I was in a situation with an adult I didn't know well, I would freeze up.  My mind would go blank and I could not think of anything to say.  So I didn't say a word.  So the adults in my life pretty much ignored me. It breaks my heart when I see the same thing happen with Emily because I know the pain involved in feeling like you are invisible.

  • I had an over-the-top empathy for the underdog.  I caught Emily crying in her room one night about a year ago.  When I asked her what was wrong, she was sad because her friends in her old school were ignoring a boy who had some disabilities, was unliked and sat alone every day at lunch.  Her compassion for others is tremendous.

  • I would never defend myself.  Others, at times, would say very unkind things to me and I never would stick up for myself.  Other teens have said some very insulting things to my daughter and yet, like I did, she doesn't speak up and is hurt.

  • I loved the Lord.  I wanted to follow Him.  As a teen it was difficult because I also wanted to fit in!  I do see the same tendency in Emily.

However there are some ways she is not like me at all.....

  • She is very self-confident.  She has a good sense of who she is.

  • She is determined.  I tended to give up easily when I felt hurt or betrayed.  She just gets back up and keeps moving forward.

  • She has a daddy who loves her and would give her the world! 

  • She's not afraid to try new things.

  • She's not afraid to say, "No."  I never could say no to things because I wanted to please people too much.

So even though we are very similar, there are also some differences.  I love having a daughter and wouldn't change that for the world. 

But back to my original question. 

How in the world did this happen?