I am now officially a mother of a teenager now. This birthday has been really tough for me to accept! I just can’t believe that she is just growing up so fast. Sometimes it’s too fast and sometimes it’s not fast enough :) These hormones are no joke. I can remember exactly when that first contraction hit around 4am on August 27, 2001. I remember pacing around our little kitchen in so much pain, trying to stick it out at home as long as I could. I remember being so young and thinking that nothing could go wrong…I had planned on having a natural, drug-free childbirth. My plan had gone exactly as I wanted up until the midwife discovered that Mackenzie was breech. I had already gotten all the way to 10cm in just 6 hours…which I thought was pretty good for a first time labor! Then all hell broke loose and all these nurses were flying around us trying to get me ready for an emergency c-section. Everyone looked worried, which worried me. The pain was the only thing that kept my mind distracted. Finally, I was taken back and Mackenzie was born at 9:52am, and everything seemed perfect again! (Here is the whole birth story, if you’re interested)… She had a head full of hair and had all her fingers and toes. I remember her cry was like a little squeal…she really had some lungs on her! She had a tough time at the beginning, with a long hospital stay in the NICU due to pneumonia. During that time, they found out she had a hole in her heart, too. After she recovered from all that, she was a healthy baby. Between her brother and sister, she’s got the medal for the most hospital visits so far…4…with a total of about 40 days spent in a hospital for various reasons. Even still, she was very sweet and loving, but very determined and stubborn. She was a colicky baby, which wasn’t fun at all. Very much a “high needs” baby, as I think it’s called now…really demanding, intense, sensitive, and exhausting! But we got through it. She was an early talker and early walker…always on the go and learning new things. She was and still is smart…if only she would apply it to all of her schoolwork :) She is so creative and always had an imagination. You could always tell that she would do something later on in her life where she could use those skills. Maybe a lawyer, because she certainly is persistent and will try to talk you into something in a heartbeat!
She is very loving and loves affection, which I love. I love it that she still hugs on me and has never been that kid who seems to be embarrassed of being around their parents. I hope it stays like that. I’ve tried to always tell her that she can always tell me anything and I won’t judge her…and that no matter what she does in life or who she chooses to love that I’ll support her. She has come to me and asked my advice on different things, so hopefully that means I’m doing something right. It’s just downright terrifying to know that she is a teenager now, with all those what-ifs and unknowns out there. I was an extremely well-behaved teenager that was scared to death to do anything wrong…but I know what other kids were out doing, and that’s the stuff that scares me. I can’t lock her in the house and forbid her to do anything; so at some point I just have to hope that I’ve raised her with enough common sense and good judgement to make the right decisions. Luckily she hasn’t been too interested in boys yet, but I know it’s coming sooner or later (hopefully later!). I remember the first time my heart was truly broken was when I was 14; my freshman year in high school. I was just a mess and it was pretty pathetic, but knowing that’s only a year from now for her is just frightening! Not to mention that my mom was around that age when she met my dad and they’ve been together ever since. I was only 15 when I met Michael and we’re still married! But, I digress…
I think that this summer has changed her outlook on some things, for the better. Or at least I hope it has taught her that life has some bumpy parts but you just have to keep going until the road gets smoother. It certainly brought us closer…being cooped up in a room with someone 24/7 for weeks on end will do that!
Happy Birthday, Mackenzie!