We have a teenager!!!

I turned 13! And I had a sleepover with my school besties

He said

Hard to believe that when we started this blog is was in the early stages of the pregnancy before we had even met Emelia and here we are, welcoming her to the teen years. Now, before you go looking, no they aren’t all on this space—way back in the day I used iWeb make the blog and MobileMe to host it. When Apple dropped support for iWeb in 2012, I had to figure out a new solution and that was where WordPress and the current iteration came to be. But, because I am by no means web developer and could come up with an easier way than copying & pasting 6 years of blog posts (remember, we post once a week) as well as the photos we included with the entry each week. The point is, one day I will get all those posts over here, and we’ll have all of her 13 years on this ride in one place – maybe by then it will be all 14 or 15 years in one place!

Now… for the week that was. A couple weeks back Emelia had a birthday gathering with her besties from Gymnastics, Kathleen & Olivia. They had a fun day together that included going to the mall (you’ll see a trend here), and then out for pizza and laser tag at one of her favourite places, Palasad. This weekend was part two of the birthday festivities with her school besties Anna, Grace and Evelyn. The reason we do two is because Emelia doesn’t love big gatherings with large groups, and she also doesn’t like the idea of all of her friends having a very divided Emelia. So, we have for the last few years had a couple of smaller parties where she doesn’t get overwhelmed by the larger group, and gets time to truly be with her friends. It works great for her and honestly I kinda like the notion that her birthday gets dragged out over a couple of events where she gets to feel special.

At any rate, this weekend was the gathering of her school besties on Saturday night. As per usual for a thirteen-year-old, one of the things she wanted to do was go to the mall with her friends (very on-brand for her) and hang out. Then, the plan was to come back to the house, have a pizza dinner, some cake and then do some beauty care (mud masks) and watch a movie on the projector in the basement where the sleepover was. The cake was a from scratch project that Emelia wanted to do with Danielle and it turned out awesome. By all counts, the girls had a wonderful time. For Danielle & I it was awesome! All we had to do was chauffeur the girls around—once we were back in the house and dinner out of the way, they were self sufficient. Danielle & I could watch some TV and let the girls have the basement as their domain. We were off to bed and asleep, long before the girls. And not surprisingly, we were up before them too.

After the girls did get up, Danielle made them fresh-from-the-cardboard-can-to-the-oven Cinnabons and then the girls were back down to the basement to giggle and do what teen girls do. Around noon the gathering started to pack up as the twins had a hockey game to get to, Emelia had Gymnastics practice and the 24 hour rave was all but over. By all counts Emelia said she had a great time and she was very happy with how the both weekend celebrations went. Hell, she even almost admitted that she was tired. I did say almost—fully admitting she was tired is just not in her canon!

I have often said this journey with Emelia has consistently felt like time has flown by in the blink of an eye – while at the same time – felt like the longest, and most valuable time of my life. I have lived so much more in these last 13 years and they feel longer than the previous 36 that led up to becoming Emelia’s Daddy. And, I think that is what the real gift of becoming a parent is—the duplicitous nature of time moving fast and slow at the exact same time. I love it. Emelia is beautiful, smart, funny, and sometimes even a pain in the ass. But, I love every moment she has given us and getting front row seats to the journey of her life. I love being her Daddy. Thirteen is a big milestone year for her, and I couldn’t be prouder of the woman she is becoming. Happy 13th Birthday, Boo! I love you!!

She said

This week has been packed from start to finish. Our week started out normal enough with Emelia’s dance classes Monday night, but after her class things went a bit sideways. Emelia had asked me when she got home if she could go tobogganing with her best friends after dance class.

So once dance was done I gathered Emelia’s snow gear and toboggan and off she went with the girls. They walked down with the twins mom and then changed hands when their friends Abby and Connor met up with them and their parents took over. Now take in account that Connor is 14, Emelia was basically 13, the twins are 5 weeks away from being 13 and Abby will be 13 in a few months. So the parents watched from the warmth of their car (because the kids are more than old enough to be there solo). Well they decided in kid wisdom that playing a game of chicken would be a fab idea. Well as you can imagine it was a BAD idea.

Around 8:30 Emelia and the twins ran into the house with Emelia in tears. Well this game of chicken went sideways and Emelia and Abby crashed and hard and Emelia took the brunt of it. Thank GOD she wasn’t seriously hurt but she was banged and bruised and more than anything shaken hard. She was a mess for quite a while, doing some quick checks she was cleared that other than some bruises and being sore she was not seriously hurt. This did push our week sideways. On Tuesday, Emelia went off to school – I gave her teacher a heads up what happened just in case she needed to come home. She made it through the school day but came home saying she felt like she had been hit by a truck, the bruising had started showing up and she stayed home from practice. By Wednesday she went back to training but modified.

Thursday was another day we had booked and planned over a month ago, Emelia as we have talked about already is moving to cheer next season so we have started to book her some clinics, open gyms and private lessons. On Thursday she went to a private lesson to work on her back tucks, she has been working on them in tumbling lines at gymnastics but the standing back tuck for cheer she just doesn’t have it clean. So she went to a private class for it. The timing could not have been worse, she was on day 5 now of hard sports, she was still having effects from the tobogganing collision so she didn’t get as much out of it as she had hoped. She did amazing but of course it wasn’t quite as much as she had hoped.

Emelia’s focus has moved back to gymnastics and is moving her drive towards training for her upcoming competitions that is in a few weeks so we are putting cheer practices on the back burner for the time being. And like that the weekend was here and teenager birthday mode. While John was at work Emelia and I started getting ready for her party. Emelia this year wanted to make her birthday cake from scratch including the icing. It was not Pinterest perfect but it turned it pretty good and the girls gobbled up it not only for dessert last night but a piece this morning before they left.

Once the cake was done and ready it was time for her party to start. The girls had an absolute blast. And seeing the same group of girls who have been the best of friends for years grow up into their teen years has been an amazing thing to witness. The girls spoiled her and the night was just about perfect for her. They had a great time, giggled until well past midnight. My most favourite birthday parties growing up was my sleepover parties at the same age so I hope that she carries forward the same memories as I have from my tween/teen sleepover birthdays.

As this day approached it is hard not to reflect on her life and how much has changed for us as parents since she came into our lives 13 years ago. Emelia has changed us so much and only for the better. We are amazed seeing the young person she is becoming, her fiery personality, her stubbornness who loves her family and friends with all her heart. She might make us crazy at times but we wouldn’t change her for anything. We love you so much baby girl!!!!

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