Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Today is my middle daughter's 15th birthday. Happy birthday, Shannon! Born Friday, January 13th, 1995. Yep, Friday the 13th. I've always thought that explained a lot about her.

This is Shannon with her best friend, Syd. Yes, she has a best friend in Colorado. In fact, she has lots of friends in Colorado. As the months go by, I'm hearing, "I want to go back to Arizona!" less and less. There are moments still though...when she's mad at me.

Adolescence is hell, people. I've done this twice now, and in a few years, I get to do it again. Oh joy. Don't kid suitcase is already packed.

Ages 12 (or even sometimes 11) through 14 are not pretty. Do you remember when you were that age? And you hated your parents and everything sucked? I think it's even harder from this end. Because even though you totally don't understand what they're going through, in reality (which is not in their head, but yours) you do. Because I remember being a teenager, but I'm pretty sure she doesn't remember being 40 and dealing with a teenage daughter.

But let's go back in time a bit, shall we?

Ok, honestly? I should have known there was going to be trouble, when I caught her doing this before she even turned two. It was hilarious though, judging by the fact that I took pictures.

This is the Christmas right before she turned three, I think. You all, if you have little kids? Write the dates on your photos. Because sometimes I just can't remember, and I wish I could. I know this was the Christmas that Steve's mom had to get all three of her granddaughters (Danni, Shannon and their cousin Skylar) a Tickle Me Elmo. Although it might be the Christmas right before she turned two. Honestly, I can't tell.

This is Shannon at age four or five. She used to have the most beautiful light brown hair, with wavy, curly locks. Sometimes I could kill her for ever coloring it, and wanting it pin straight. I used to love my little girl's hair.

Halloween, age 5. My mother made a Super Girl costume for her. She was the sweetest kid. Out of the three? The easiest baby and the most laid-back child. I will now tell people these are warning signs.

Christmas 2002, right before Shannon turned eight.

Honestly, I had some trouble finding pictures of Shannon that didn't have either one or both of her sisters in them. We have a lot of pictures of Danni, the oldest. And since there was an almost eight year break between Shannon and Kylie, we have a lot of pictures of Kylie. Shannon? Not so much. Middle kids are the Rodney Dangerfield of the family. No respect.

Do you notice how I'm letting my almost 8 year-old take a 3 month-old baby on the merry-go-round? That's stellar parenting, right there. In my defense though, I'm pretty sure that the reason Danni is standing next to them is because she has a hand on Kylie too.

This is the time she auditioned for Baywatch. The producers were all, "Um, you have to have boobs to be on Baywatch." And I said, "Hey, she's only eight years old!" And they said, "Yeah, what's your point?"

Really, a family vacation to San Diego and L.A. This could be either Mission Beach in San Diego, or Huntington Beach in L.A. Again, I'm not sure, because I don't write on my pictures.

As I mentioned before, the last few years have been, umm....challenging. Moving right before she started high school was not helpful. The first semester here was rough. She makes friends easily though, and now we've switched up her school schedule a bit, and I have to say, at 15, I'm finally starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel of hormonal hell.

Two years ago, I was bemoaning my baby becoming a teenager. In fact, there's a really cute picture of her sleeping on the last day she was 12. Reading that entry, we were already having problems with her.

Two years later, things are different. She still has her moments, but now we have more good times than bad ones. She's a really good kid, for the most part. In fact, on New Year's Eve, she was spending the night at a friend's house. She called me at 1am to pick her up because some of the kids were drinking, and she didn't want any part of it. I was pretty proud of her for that.

This past semester, her grades kind of sucked. Ok, they really sucked. I've chalked it up to the move, and the complete inability of a 14 year-old to have any long term perspective. She just doesn't really seem to care about grades. So this semester, instead of yelling and screaming (from both of us), I'm using a reward instead. A financial reward. We'll see how that works out.

I always get sad on my kids' birthdays, because I hate that they are growing up. On the other hand, I am proud of the women they are becoming. Does that make sense? It's been a long road with her, this adolescence thing, but I think, I really do, that we're finally coming out of it.

Back when she was about seven or eight, I remember absolutely forbidding her to get any older. She never does listen to me.

Happy birthday, Baby. I love you.


Dawn in Austin said...

awww. What a nice post, and I totally get everything you were saying. My only daughter is the middle child. Everything you said. Totally.

Happy Birthday Shannon!

I get sad on their birthdays, too. Mostly because it makes me feel so danged old. LOL

P.S. Looks like Mission Beach to me. I grew up in San Diego. But then, that was a really long time ago.

Anonymous said...

This was a very sweet post - I can totally remember those years - and yeah I'm guessing it wasn't pretty. It's not easy being a teenage girl.

Happy birthday Shannon!

Stacey said...

I have 3 daughters, enough said! Two of them have grown out of that stage, but I have one that is 16 and still hates the world! Happy Birthday to Shannon!

Joann Mannix said...

Aww, Happy Birthday to your girl!

I feel every bit of your angst and pain and joy, having 3 girls myself. It's so interesting having the space between them. I'm the same way with my girls. You get to see where they're going, where they've come from and who they will become.

My oldest girl at college is out of the rough patch and such a joy to be around.

You are so right about the middle one being The Rodney. But, they're usually the most easy going because of it. But, yes, my middle girl, the bitch she can be when she wants to be, at 15. It makes me shudder thinking about it.

And then there's the little one, still all sweetness. I made her promise the other day, she would always be that sweet.

But, you're right, girls, they never listen.

Sweet, sweet post.