Monday, August 13, 2012

Teenage Dreams

Well, it is official.  Katie is a teenager!  This milestone in her life is bittersweet for me, but so exciting for her.  She celebrated with her usual multiple parties, from simple family get togethers, to her official "friends" pool party.  I swore last year that it was going to be her last friends party, but somehow she talked me into another one. 

Now that she is a teenager, she thinks that she needs to be instantly independent of me.  Suddenly everything is, "MOM! I can do it myself!  I am a teenager!"  So I let her do as much as I can, even if that means I have to re-do things (without her knowing).  Her shirts sometimes end up backwards, her tank tops inside out, and her shoes might end up on the wrong feet, but she is trying.  The bathroom ends up with toothpaste all over the sink, water all over the counter, and the towel on the floor.  The pillow case is half off her pillow on her bed, and the sheets hanging out of the comforter, but if I ask her to make her bed, who am I to complain?  When I ask her to put her clothes away, the drawers are jammed shut, and the clothes crooked in the closet.  I think she secretly likes to do household chores, though, because it makes her feel grown up.

My least favorite part of this whole "teenager" business, is her attitude.  Now everything is done with a huff and a stomp of the feet, and a complaint.  I am convinced that she learned that directly from her older sister.  She has also taken to yelling at her sisters to leave her alone, or fighting with them over the TV and clothes.  Like I said, this is all bittersweet.  No mother in her right mind would wish for sibling rivalry, but to me it illustrates that she is right on track with other kids her age.  She is going through the same "stages" and experiences the same growing pains that teenagers everywhere are feeling.  So, lucky me, I now have 2 daughters in their teens. 

My oldest daughter said to me the other day, "I don't like Teenage Katie".  I know what she meant by it, because Katie used to be so docile and accommodating, and now she is somewhat surly and loud.  In private I am cherishing every minute of it, because I love it when she hits a milestone on time, and she can feel like she is just a regular teen living her life.  Every time I hear her stomping around and growling at someone, I secretly smile.  This probably sounds insane to some people who have "regular" teens that are driving them crazy, but for the longest time I did not know if Katie was going to be able to live a regular life, and experience all the things that other kids her age went through.  Like middle school and dances and detentions and having friends over and telephone calls and birthday parties and I-Pods and designer clothes and pizza and lockers and swim class and honor society and Pepsi and slumber parties and everything else that every other teen dreams of and lives every day of their lives.  And Katie has done it all. And I love it.

I know some people are reading this and thinking, "that doesn't sound like the happy Katie that I know".  I don't mean to paint a picture of a crabby, uncommunicative monster, because she is far from that.  She is still that most cheerful kid I know, and always has a smile and a hug for everyone.  She loves to dance to her favorite music and play on her I-Pod, and talk to her friends and hang out with her cousins.  There has just been a definite change in her demeanor over the last few months.  And I know that it is completely normal for a teenage girl.  I am not complaining about it in the least. Sometimes our Adventures in Autism are not so different from every other teenager.

No comments:

Post a Comment