In some ways I was detached from her childhood as I literally went about the business of being a good parent. When she was young I left a lot of the fun and play, magic and imagination to others in our community of family and friends. Now that she is the teenager I'm finding myself to be fully engaged in giving her the best teen years I could have ever wanted. It isn't about living vicariously through her and her life, trust me I have absolutely no desire to suffer those years again... and also I love being an adult (all the power and responsibility that comes with that). For me it is about reflecting upon that box I spoke of previously and realizing that as a mother I can help HFG to have a completely different experience. Sure there will be difficult days with yelling, door slamming and general teenage malaise, but I hope in the end she will take flight out of the nest with self confidence, a sense of accomplishment, and maybe even satisfaction with her teen years. I hope someday when she is older she says to me, "I have such fond memories of my teenage years in Pittsburgh."
It is fantastically terrific that our current home lends it's self to getting off on the right foot... We've hosted two small parties and I am pretty sure both events were fairly successful. Her and her friends had the run of the main floor, plenty of food and drink, and loud music (everyone has an iPod) and while my presence was made known, I mostly stayed out of their way and kept to myself. I love hearing the noise that is them like movie style cafe background chatter. I am beyond thrilled knowing that these kids who are in the throes of becoming young adults are for the moment safe, happy, and carefree in the home that Michael and I have created for our family. I hope that over the next few years our relationship is such that she continues to invite her friends over and feel like where she wants to be is right where she is.