This girl

This girl turned 15 a week or so ago. Without even asking permission. I'm in denial.

Oh, those oldest kids. They really know how to stick it to their parents and they don't even know they're doing it! {I can say that because I am an oldest child. And married one. Married very young, too, thereby proving my unknowingly-stick-it-to-the-parents, oldest child theory.} Every milestone is bittersweet for us poor parents: excited and joyful at the growth and a bit shocked and sad and...aging at the same time. Time doesn't seem to listen to our whining and pleading to PLEASE SLOW DOWN. We're turning into ancestors before our very own eyes.

But if there's one lesson parenting brings, it's this: it's not all about you.

Sometimes parenting reminds me of a certain Grover book. (Stay with me here. You know...the blue, furry, spazzy Muppet?) We have long loved There's a Monster at the End of this Book, both when I was growing up and with my own kids. Grover spends every page pleading with the reader "please, please, oh please don't turn the page. 'Cause there's a monster at the end of this book! Didn't you read the title?" He tries to tape the pages, he builds a brick wall, but the pages keep turning, closer and closer to the end of the story. Then, of course, at the end HE's the monster at the end of the book.

That's me, trying to slow down the story, trying to maintain the happy status quo. I haven't decided what is the monster at the end of this book. A grown child? An empty nest? Regrets? Monster me? Whatever it is, it won't be what I fear, I'm sure. Maybe it will even be cute and furry (but we already got a dog). I just want a certain Miss L to go back and curl up on my lap for a few more stories again. Is that too much to ask?

I thought so.

Anyway, what was I saying about it's not all about me? Oh, yes.

Happy {belated} Birthday, Lauren! You're a fabulous, beautiful, loving, stubborn, talented, sunny bright spot in our lives. You go, girl. Just not too fast.