Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sixteen Candles

No dating until you're 16.  That was the rule in my house growing up.  And short of kissing Mark Marean in my back yard as my brother pretended to marry us, I respected it.  I waited. 

I waited and waited and naturally assumed that along with my great anticipation of turning The Great 16 there were certainly others anxiously waiting too.  Pathetic, really.  I guess I hadn't suffered enough disappointment in life yet to arrive at the conclusion that the world did not, in fact, revolve around me.  I still believed that what happened in the movies was possible, which is why I avoided haunted houses at all costs and fantasized about a dreamy boy showing up in his sports car to save me on my birthday and kiss me through the window light over my birthday cake.  Imagine my disappointment when November 24, 1986 finally arrived, my 16th birthday, and I sat in stunned silence on the stairs of my family home, alone and confused as to why the phone was not suddenly ringing off the hook.  I was genuinely surprised that I hadn't corralled my first date on the exact day of my eligibility.  Oh, how I want to take that 16-year-old girl and smack her right upside the head.  She was kind of a dummy.

Now, that dummy is the parent.  And today that dummy's baby girl turns 16.  That girl has been given the same rule about dating, and she has respected it.  She has used her 16 years here on the planet earth in brilliant fashion - unabashedly trying new things, facing setbacks head on, tackling challenges with determination - that girl impresses her mama.  Regularly. 

I used to hear mothers regale their birthing experiences with pride while conjuring phrases like, "As soon as I saw her I knew her and loved her."  I expected to feel that, and of course I loved her instantly.  But I didn't feel like I knew her.  Instead as I held that little girl in my arms after she was born I felt like she was on loan; like God was giving me a chance.  God was going to let me borrow her - He was trusting me with one of His very own and He was going to let me teach her, show her, love her, guide her.  And then I would get to sit back and watch what she did with all that teaching, showing, loving and guiding.  What a privilege.  As it is, she hasn't really needed me much - I'm not being self deprecating here, just telling the truth.  This girl - I have been getting to know her for a while now.  I like her.  A LOT.  She's too smart to think the world is waiting for her to turn 16, and I guarantee she won't be spending the evening on the stairs waiting for the phone to ring.  Eventually she will capture some boy's heart and I will officially roll into a fetal position and begin sucking my thumb.  I do know one thing, whoever gets this girl is going to have to get past her mama first, and when they do...

...well, I'll try to be nice.

Happy Birthday baby girl.  


14 comments:

annie said...

I'd blame John Hughes.

violyngirl said...

No way. 16? Really? But you JUST posted about her first church dance! She's gorgeous. Good luck with the boys. :)

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

Your daughter is a beauty. If I were you I'd change the rule to age 21. Happy Birthday beautiful girl!

Emily Foley said...

Yeah, I was the same way. So surprised that I didn't go on dates (besides school dances) until I was in college. I mean, if I was a boy I totally would have asked me out.

Tapper said...

Sometimes our best friends come to us disguised as daughters. Happy birthday to your beautiful girl!

anitamombanita said...

what a beauty she is!! happy 16th sweet girl!

ganelle said...

That picture is FABULOUS!!!

Happy birthday Sam! I still remember her when we made her be Baby New Year. Can't believe she's 16.

Stefani said...

We have a recent 16 year old too, no dates for the first 6 months and NOW there is a boyfriend. It was a fun and romantic thought to have boys sweeping young girls off their feet when I was 16, but now as a parent, it makes me worry and stress on a daily basis. Not because they are bad kids, but because I am older and wiser (and lets face it, less of a romantic) AND know the reality of teenage boys. I don't think I ever realized until now how much my parents were really praying for me back then.

Have fun, good luck and get out the shotgun ;)

Tim said...

OK, so can see Em doing this!! Happy Birthday to an amazing girl, ah, woman! BTW this is G not T :)

wjmom said...

It is a blessing to LIKE your children. I'm so glad it's YOUR blessing. Happy birthday, Sam!

Rachey said...

What!? That picture of her is amazing. Love the boots. I hope it was a great birthday Sam! I remember that cute little baby girl.

Garden of Egan said...

She's beautiful!!!
I love that pose.

You might find it useful to cancel all cell phones and the landline.
.......or have you done that already?

Lorie said...

Happy Birthday, Sam! I remember you playing pet shops with Carlee and teaching her that cute little laugh. Looking forward to seeing what great things are in store for your Life and your future. BYU-I! And Vern.... 1986?!?!?!? :))

Paige said...

ACK! How can they be getting this old? My daughter turns 16 on WED!