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Picture Perfect Thursday - Thirteen First Dates

All my life - having been raised in a very superstitious household - I can't help but be a little spooked whenever encountering the number 13 and my husband can't resist giving me the evil eye when, after throwing salt over my shoulder or knocking on wood, I insist:

"YES, it really does help!"

But, there isn't a time that I can ever remember feeling this scared - I mean, I'm talking absolute and unbelievable dread - as I am...right now...about the number of candles to be lit for my oldest daughter's...GULP...13th birthday on Sunday.

[blank stare]

Even if you don't believe and think I'm just being silly, perhaps if I put it this way:

My first born (and oldest daughter) three days...WILL BE A TEENAGER!


I mean, it stands to reason - she was the everything - I still remember the day (very, very early in the morning) when she was born.

(1) I remember her first tooth - she only had one, but it stood out in the middle of her smile on her first birthday - and (2) she was the first to ever to call me, "Mommy."

(3) She was the first to give me a present for Mother's Day - a faded coffee mug that says, "#1 Mommy," I still use - and (4) she was the first to cry on Santa's lap.

(5) I remember the first time she got sick and (6) when she was hospitalized, it was truly the first time I felt as if I was going to die and (7) the first time I ever promised the stars and the moon.

(8) I remember the first time I sewed was a homemade Halloween costume for her and (9) how she enjoyed her first taste of chocolate and (10) I don't think I will ever forget her telling me how she was, " Just too old" to go trick-or-treating, this year.

(11) She was the first to have a friend sleep-over and (12) walk to the corner for a gallon of milk or (13) tell me, "I love you...Momma!"

It stands to reason.

She will probably be the first to tell me exactly how much...she hates her life.

It's okay.

I will try to understand that - no matter how gosh-darned hard I try - it is perhaps unavoidable. If growing up means that children will hate their parents, even a little, then I thank my lucky stars...because it seems that we BOTH still have some growing up to do.

For now.

[knocking on wood until knuckles bleed]

Happy 13th Birthday, Thing One and - even though I can't believe I will officially be a mom of a teenager - thank you for allowing me to look forward to the next...firsts!

Dating, not so much.

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