You know that your kid is growing up when after not being able to swallow a pill for the first fifteen years of her life, she comes into the kitchen and asks for her “own bottle of advil” to take to school – like it’s a grown-up right or something. So, we had a little sit down about how to take painkillers responsibly. I mean, she’s had nothing more than cough syrup and a handful of vaccines her entire life and now she wants her OWN bottle of advil.

You know that your kid is growing up when she goes to the mall with her best friend (not you!) to get her ears pierced. That oughtta show you how conservative she is about these things – my friend who was over the other day, noticed the bottle of disinfectant in Bella’s bathroom and asked, “Oh, did Bella get another piercing?” Not only is this Bella’s first piercing, but it is just the conventional ear piercing.

Fingers crossed, but it looks like the worst of the teenage attitude might have been year fourteen. Granted, last week she had me tell her what I had planned for dinner each night for the whole week and then said, “No offense Mom, but we’re not having anything good this week. It all sounds gross.” And then another day, “Mom, leave my room – I don’t want to talk to you anymore.” And about my new MBT shoes, “Mom, are you sure those are supposed to worn in public?”

But these things are said in a mild way that are much easier to deal with than the dramatic furies I was beginning to dread of last year. We still have conversations quite regularly about appropriate ways of talking to people – and she still sometimes gets her phone or computer taken away – but far far less than before.

I am getting nostalgic for her company. I mean, if my own history is any standard, Bella may leave my house for college in two years and never live with me again! My friend Darlene expressed this sentiment well in her post this week; she called it her “only” list and she made a partial list of things that she “only” got to do for a short time in the context of her sixty years.

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