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 yourself...my 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.
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.