Monday, March 12, 2012

A Good Day to be Thirteen

The day came and went. It was a day like any other. (Really, are any days like any other???) A girl who was twelve one day is thirteen the next.

"So how do you feel about being thirteen?" I asked.

"I'm scared," she said.

"Why are you scared?" I asked. She wasn't sure why she was scared.

I have had a lot of time to think about it. Maybe teenagers are scared. Perhaps we underestimate their feelings. They watch shows about high school and hear stories. Bullying, popularity, grade average pressure, all of it. Here they are on this earth only thirteen years and faced with an overwhelming amount of knowledge.

Life was simpler when I was young. Even more simple when my parents were young. My kids didn't seem to have the pressures that now fill our airspace. This digital world with social networking has closed in around kids. They have a right to be apprehensive.....I should hope they are apprehensive.

I'm glad that Sydney felt she could express her feelings to me. It helps me to understand what she is going through. Sydney is a sweet, compassionate girl. Her inner beauty is something I hope she keeps with her during these years of teenage highs and lows. Knowing that she came to me with these feelings, gives me hope that she will come to me whenever she needs a listening ear.

I loved working with teenagers years ago. I found them in need of adults with whom they could talk to about anything without judgment or recrimination. They want adult support. They want adults to listen to them. As grandparents, we have an opportunity to be the listener. They don't want solutions yet sometimes they need someone to help them see their options. Grandparents are a vital part of their grandchildren's lives. Don't ever underestimate your worth.

Sydney turned thirteen. I called her at the end of the day, and she didn't seem any different than she did the day before when she was a year younger. So far, so good.

It was a good day to turn thirteen. Happy Birthday, Syd.


  1. Teenagers can be great fun to be around. For the most part they are energetic, enthusiastic, idealistic and creative. Of course, they can also be mercurial and moody, but that's mostly because they care about things so deeply.

    1. I guess that learning about ourselves makes any of us a bit moody, especially if we have never done it before. At least at this age, zits are not a problem:)