Thursday, April 24, 2014

Growing Up

I had a beautiful post planned for today.

I was going to write about how my oldest daughter is growing up, and how it makes me both proud and sad.

Today, as I was about to walk out the door to pick her up from school and take her to her driver's test, the phone rang. It was someone calling to schedule a job interview with my Lexi.


How can this be happening?

This is the day I've been waiting for and dreaming about. The day my daughter can drive herself (and her siblings) around, and have her own money to spend.

Now that the day is here and she passed her driver's test, I'm happy, proud, and so very sad.

She is growing up so fast.

I remember when she was a baby, people told me this would happen. They warned me she'd grow up fast. I didn't believe them. How could my sweet little bald baby girl ever grow up?

I guess "they" were right, because she is growing up, whether I like it or not.

But here's the kicker.

It's not just me that nervous, excited, and sad about this new chapter in her life.

Lexi asked me to proof a paper she wrote for her journalism class tonight.

I got teary eyed after the first paragraph.

She nailed it.

Here's her paper (posted here with her permission!), because, honestly, I couldn't have said it any better:

Growing up
Growing up is a part of life. There's no stopping it. Along with growing up comes a lot of responsibility and pressure. I am experiencing this all first hand. I just got my driver’s license, got a checking account, applied for a job, and learned a lot about responsibility. It’s a lot to take in. Sometimes I think my brain is going to explode from all the new information, but mostly I think my parents are going to have a nervous breakdown because their “baby” is growing up.
Driving alone is terrifying. I know I’m a good driver but what about all the other people who aren’t good drivers? Having a parent in the passenger seat was like a cushion of protection; there was always someone there to tell me what I did right and mostly what I did wrong. Even though they were extra critical of my driving I know they were just trying to make me a better driver. I feel lost without them there. Literally, I feel lost -- I have no sense of direction. I almost miss them being there to tell me to turn left or right or to slow down.
Applying for a job is another big step that I had to take. Driving brings freedom, and expenses. The price of gas has me a little freaked out and I decided babysitting may not cut it anymore. I have been babysitting since I was in fifth grade but I have never had a real job.I now have an interview scheduled for my first “real” job. I am starting to realize what the real world actually looks like.
A job comes with a paycheck, and yet again more responsibility. A paycheck would be a little too much cash to carry around, so my parents had me open a checking account. I now have a debit card, a PIN number, a checkbook, and a ton responsibility. I have to keep track of my card and my receipts. I have to keep my check register up to date with deposits and with drawls. I have to know how much money I have at all times, and my parents want me to learn how to budget, so they’re having me pay for things like gas, lunch money, my cell phone, and sports fees. If I screw up, I will have a very awkward conversation with my parents about why I have no money to pay for gas or my cell phone. While I’m pretty good a budgeting and saving, I am also really good at shopping, meaning I love to shop. That is my biggest problem with balancing money. I have to learn to say no to myself, I don’t have to buy everything I like right when I see it. In fact, I can’t do that. It would be irresponsible. And now that I’m 15, I’m responsible, right?
Yes growing up is apart of life, but is it okay if I want to stay young a little longer? Is there anything wrong with wanting to rely on your mom and dad for a little longer? Or wanting to be a little kid again? No I don’t think so. Everyone wants to be young because the fact of the matter the older we get the more responsibilities we get. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to stay young, but I think we all need to stop and realize that growing up is a privilege that some people will never experience. We can either dread growing up and the responsibilities it comes with, or we can learn to appreciate the life we live, responsibilities and all.

No comments: