Practically a Teenager


“I’ll be 9, which is almost 10, which is practically a teenager…so don’t call me little…”

That is how some of the conversation at our house has gone recently.

“Whoa! Slow down there partner, you’re still 8 right now, and you will never have the chance to be 8 years old again, so make sure you REALLY enjoy these next couple of days. And when you turn 9, don’t rush into teenager. Enjoy being 9; it only comes around once in a lifetime.”

As I rapidly approach my collision course with the half-century mark, I truly understand the quote “Youth is wasted on the young.”

While retail outlets and cities have donned the Christmas lights, garland and wreaths, we decked our house out in pink and purple twirling decorations featuring the daughter of the werewolf and the son of Medusa. We were decorating for a Monster High party, playing the hits from the Monster High movies, as we worked. No Christmas carols for us, yet.

I had to laugh when my daughter asked me if I knew how to work the iPod and then stood amazed that I had put together such a great playlist for the party. (I may not know the current music scene all that well, but I do know my daughter, and I have been dragged to plenty of Kid’s Bop dances.)

We laid out a table for a group of 8-year-old girls that featured “Ghoulia’s Pepperkakor Concoctions”, “Draculara’s Veggie Tray”, “Howleen’s Dogs”, and Abby Bomidable’s Chillers (Koolaid fruit punch). We built marshmallow catapults to “feed the Yeti” who kindly blew in for the weekend extravaganza. The feature was a Jinafire (daughter of the Chinese Dragon) doll cake, although during the party Mom almost forgot the fire part—lighting the candles and singing Happy Birthday!

It was an amazing day of friends, smiles, laughter and hugs. After the last guest left, my husband and I met in the kitchen for a big HIGH FIVE. We had pulled it off, and our little girl…oops…practically-a-teenager was happy.

After the kid’s party, the family arrived and there were more presents, laughter and a delightful meal out with family.

After the cleanup, the tearing down of boxes, the un-rearranging of furniture, the doing of many dishes, the house was quiet—even quieter because of the newly fallen snow that damped all the noises from outside. Peaceful and happy, I put my daughter to bed.

“Stay for a little while,” she said sleepily, and I held my practically-a-teenager until she fell asleep.

Life is precious. Celebrate it. If you have a birthday, be thankful for it. Each birthday comes around but once in a life time. Don’t rush headlong in to each holiday or vacation or next stage of life just because you think you should. Don’t be so quick to plan your future—plan FOR it yes—but don’t map it out. Enjoy each day for the gift that it is, no matter how old or how young you are. Hug the people you love while you can. Listen to the muted quiet of the snow. Be thankful for the little tiny blessings that surround us every day, because these are things that truly make life worthwhile—even if you are nine, which is almost ten, which is practically a teenager.

© 2015 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.

 

Author: Michele

Michele Arduengo is a life science and medical writer by profession and a creative non-fiction writer by hobby. In addition to publishing Grits and Purls since 2008, Michele has published essays in Wisconsin Woman, Chicken Soup for the Soul and has a weekly column in her local newspaper.

1 thought on “Practically a Teenager”

  1. They grow up so quickly. My granddaughter is 8 and I treasure every snuggle. Sounds like the party was fun. Happy birthday to your almost teen. Postpone that as long as possible. Happy Thanksgiving.

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