As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him--you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2: 4-5

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Madeline!

Last year, when my youngest "big kid" turned 12, I surprised her by taking her picture when I woke her up for school. So young, so sleepy.

This year, she looks a little bit more prepared, don't you think? A true sign of being a teenager--always being photo ready.

Maddy's cake. With Sarah's cake, I had two whole days to bake and decorate it. With Maddy's, I had baked it the night before and then had about 15 minutes to decorate it after school. Still, I think it turned out pretty well, and seeing as it is already gone, it must not taste too bad either.

Blowing out the candles--with a little bit of help!
My girl with all of her presents--in front of the fire, because, "it makes for good pictures"--her words, not mine
I really think that this was Maddy's favorite gift...a bunch of minty gum. She had told me earlier in the week, and I quote, "Mom, since we can't spend much money on my birthday this year, you can just get me lots and lots of gum...the minty kind." (You must picture this with her standing in front of the gum display at Target, half hugging the gum shelf) So, as a silly gift, we got her every kind of minty gum they had.
and her gift from MawMaw--an Aeropostale jacket.

I can honestly say that I have never seen one of my kids so excited about their birthday as Maddy was on Friday. She had previously said that she didn't want anyone to know it was her birthday at school, yet wrote "It's my birthday!" on a neon yellow bandaid and wore it on her forehead. I think it was because she was finally a teenager! Hard to believe. It really seems like not so long ago that she was a toddler, refusing to stay dressed, refusing to stay in her bed at night.
Maddy has always been my most passionate child. She loves fiercely, celebrates joyfully, and when she is disappointed or sad or angry, she is so VERY disappointed, VERY sad, VERY angry. She lives in the moment, wanting everything right now. So you can imagine her disappointment when the night of her 13th birthday, when we told her she could pick out the red box movie we would rent, that we vetoed the PG-13 movie that she had chosen. Almost a year ago, when Maddy was away somewhere, we watched the movie, "Seventeen Again." We had not heard anything about it, but soon found out that it was a bit inappropriate in parts and ended up fast forwarding through some parts. She has been begging ever since that time to be able to watch it, and I guess that she just thought that hey..she was 13! She could surely watch the PG-13 movie of her choice! When she found out that no, she was still not going to be able to watch it, it was as if we had ruined her entire birthday.
One of those, "I hate being the parent" type moments. It would have been easier just to have given in to the pouts, the teary eyes, the sulking (oh the sulking--especially after Daryl's rendition of "Be careful little eyes what you see..."). But we held our ground. It is so hard to guard their eyes and minds when you really just want them to be happy and life to be easy and their 13th birthday to be everything they have ever dreamed it would be. She has since gotten over it and moved on to other injustices in her world, but for a while, I felt horrendously guilty (mission accomplished, I'm quite sure!)
So we now officially have three teenagers. I never ever thought, when they were all little and I was overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for them, that this day would come that they would all be so grown up, so self-sufficient, so independent. I had always dreaded when they all became teenagers and I "lost" them as they needed me less and naturally grew up and away from me. I am pleasantly surprised at how much I am actually enjoying them as teenagers. Despite the expected teenage angst, which really thus far has been minimal, I have actually enjoyed this stage. I like the young people they have become, respect the choices that they have made, and am proud that they 'walk their talk.' God has done a mighty work in each of their hearts and for this, I am so very thankful.

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