Really I am. My baby is starting high school next year. Last week a lovely young lady interviewed to teach at our school. She is a former student of mine! I shared this with one of the newly retired teachers from my school. We started thinking and realized that she was the same age that I am now when I first started teaching there right out of college. I am embarrassed to admit that at the time I thought that she was so old. We have decided that old is a state of mind (shocking concept I know). Just like no one can correctly guess my weight, no one can correctly guess my age. Maybe I wear it well. Maybe it is that usually I don't really care. Who knows? My dad used to think that the more I joked about it, that meant that it really bothered me. He was the only family member who really didn't care for my self deprecating sense of humor.
I think that Lily and Caroline keep me young. Especially Caroline, we are so alike in so many ways. We are either pals or at each other's throats. I think that she uses so much energy being an amazing kid outside of this house, that by the time she gets home she is spent. That means she has no patience for her overly dramatic little sister, wise cracking dad, and list checking mother. Enough said on that subject. When she is calm, especially when Rob and Lily aren't around, we have such a good time. She has become my movie/T.V. buddy. There are some really good shows on this year: Grimm, New Girl, Awake... She has discovered punk and grunge rock. On the way to her district band competition, she was nervous and in her words "being a pain in the ass." I put on Nirvana to calm her down. I am sure the boyscout dad who stopped us to direct us through the parking lot thought that I was nuts. Only boring mothers use homemade cookies to soothe surly children.
More and more she is choosing her path. She is still an avid reader. She has also started writing more and more. She thinks that she might want to look into writing for T.V. She has big ideas now and even bigger opinions. She is more aware of current events. I am so excited for her. She has so many adventures ahead of her. Of course, I can't tell her this. Well, I have tried, but it wasn't well received. Why is it so hard to truly appreciate the stage of life that your are in at that very time? I know, you are trying too hard to just survive it. She is navigating social and academic pressure beautifully. She doesn't think so. All she can see is that her friends are going to different high schools or taking specialty classes. She has opted for AP classes for language arts and history. That is no walk in the park. All I can do is listen. That is so hard. Sometimes I need to excuse myself to go into the next room to whisper advice just so I don't say it out loud to her. Man, parenting a teenager is so much harder than parenting a two year old. It makes you old and young all at the same time.