16 things…

By Becky Andrews

I had a terrible dream last night. You were leaving for a trip. A trip alone. A trip without us; your parents and little brother. We were getting ready to check bags when the attendant asked for your passport. We forgot it. I panic, offering to pay whatever in order to get a “quickie passport” printed at the gate.

*Quickie passports are readily available in dreamland, duh!

While waiting for the life size duck to print your “quickie passport,” I notice the calendar. July 11, 2015. Two days after your 16th birthday. We forgot your passport AND one of the most important birthdays of your life. I woke up gasping, covered in sweat. Which could mean I’ve either had a premenopausal hot flash or that duck was more frightening than I thought. This time I think the sweat meant there’s a few things you need to know before heading out into that big, scary and awesomely unpredictable world. ((This would also be a good time to let you know you will not be going on a trip where you’ll need a passport without your parents anytime soon.))

Because you’re 16 now and know-it-all about pretty much everything-except cleaning your room- I won’t bore you with my little nuggets of wisdom. Instead, I’d like tell you what you’ve taught me since that warm July afternoon 192 months ago.

  1. The torture of sleep deprivation is forgotten the moment your 10 day-old finally learns to latch on OR when a teenager gives you a hug for no reason.
  2. You really load the dishwasher better than anyone I know, including myself. If I could only get you to wipe the counters!
  3. Taking photos with live animals is a bit overrated and potentially harmful to the animal.
  4. One can never watch or hear Toy Story too many times. I’ll go ahead and add Monsters, Inc., Cars, Lilo and Stitch, Homeward Bound and Finding Nemo too.
  5. Uncomfortable conversations must be had. One day, I promise you will be glad your dad and I have talked to you about everything. I also promise that these conversations are just as uncomfortable for us.
  6. I’M GLAD TWITTER, SNAPCHAT AND INSTAGRAM DIDN’T EXIST WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE!!! However, Social media has made it easier for you to tell on yourself so I’m glad it’s around now!
  7. It’s normal for a 16 year-old boy to think his mom is uncool.
  8. Kids remember moments (vacations, tickets to a cool concert, an expensive improv class), more vividly than things (the newest iPhone, designer sunglasses)
  9. Kids will rat you out…in front of people.
  10. Alzheimer’s can be funny even when it’s not. Like that day I was feeling particularly low about Papa and you said, “Did I tell you that he told me that you and Aunt Christy were a**holes when you were my age? Then he said, ‘don’t be an a**hole, Jacob. Your mother can beat you at that game. Just like we beat your mother at that when she was your age.’ He said I could tell you.”
  11. Adults dressed as Santa, the Easter Bunny, Captain America, etc. are creepy.
  12. It’s imperative that you learn some lessons the hard way.
  13. You didn’t cause the stretchmarks. Ben and Jerry did.
  14. When it comes to the character of adults, always trust the instincts of a three year old.
  15. You can’t be friends with your teenager. Because they can be assholes. Eventually we will be friends. Lucky you.
  16. There is a God. Believe me or Him, rather.


So Happy Birthday to my firstborn. Thank you for EVERYTHING…even the stretchmarks.



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