Children, Grrrls


Nearly a dozen girls have gathered to celebrate the entry of The Princess into that sisterhood of the teen years; she is 13 today, the last among her friends.

In our dining room, on the window and door sills are little figures. I hear them ask, what are those?

"My stepdad is a Dungeon Master," she answers, and I can hear something tentative in her tone. Is this amusing geekery, or does it cross the dangerous border to the Land of Nerd, or worse, the Valley of the Dorks?

The answer comes quickly as several girls squeal, "Cool!!!"

And they move on to other topics of importance: being able to swallow pills, how much makeup is too much, what shall we have on our pizza?

They quote "The Princess Bride," for they all like to think of "True Wuv," though they make fun of it at the same time. I remember taking The Princess to see the movie when she was too young, because I had nowhere else to leave her. I fed her chicken nuggets to keep her quiet. Was she 2 or 3? Hard to remember. It's part of her muscle memory now, along with certain books and restaurants and people we have known along the way, part of our collective memory as a family and her personalized life story, too.

I don't know all these girls. Some are recent friends. The old and the new survey each other upon arrival, wondering how they will fit together, drawn in a circle by the birthday girl.

Molly the Dog circles the group, hopeful, though I am on hold with Domino's, and the pizza she envisions is not here, just yet.

There is laughter, and conviviality, and this is only the first day of the coming age.

The Princess and Friends

13 thoughts on “13”

  1. Ohh. Oh my. I have nothing to offer on the subject of mothering a teenage girl. Except that I keep wanting to apologize to my own mother. So, you know, hold that thought.

  2. The Princess Bride was in theaters by you 10 years ago? It came out in 1987 (yes, I’m *that* dork), before I was allowed by my parents to go to movie theaters (1998 with the exception of the first Land Before Time Movie…yes, my parents were the strict type). I’ve always wanted to see it in a theater. So jealous.
    Happy Birthday Princess!

  3. Yes, in the late 90s we had a movie theatre downtown, just for a few years, where you could sit at a table and get dinner-type items while watching a movie. They ran new movies (I remember going there to see American Beauty and Love! Valour! Compassion!)and obviously some older ones, too. I think it must have been the winter of 98-99, and the boys and I had been in a production of Christmas Carol. Some friends who were in it (of all ages) were going to the movie, and The Very Little Princess came with us. That would make her 2-and-a-half.
    That movie theater didn’t last, which was too bad. Now you can go there and play video golf.

  4. Congratulations to the Princess. My own daughter, now 30 and with a daughter of her own, called last night to say how badly she felt about her lack of appreciation of me in her younger years. God give you grace for the coming years Songbird.

  5. Big smiles! A very very very happy birthday to the Princess and her teenager-Mama.

  6. Oh…I didn’t know! Sorry to have missed sending a better greeting than an online hug and many congratulations to the Princess, and a bushel of fellow feeling for her mum!

  7. Congratulations and happy birthday to the Princess!
    And so your third ride on this parenting-teenagers roller coaster begins….

  8. Oh the teenage years. You seem to have done well with your first two. I’m sure you’re a great mom. The thought of my little girl turning into a teenager kinda freaks me out! Hopefully when she reaches that age one day, I’ll have your wise advise to follow!

  9. Happy Birthday to the Princess! And wow, congrats on you to reaching this milestone with so much wisdom and grace.

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