My Oldest Is 16 Today


For those who have mentioned the excitement of my daughter turning 16 today, my reaction has probably seemed confusing (I’m referring to the low mumbling and the rolling of the eyes).  I, too, am excited for my daughter and this time of her life, but there is naturally a little part of me that finds it bittersweet to have her growing so fast.  I’m also concerned that things won’t be nearly as “different” as my daughter anticipates now that she’s reached this milestone.  She’s still her, we’re still us, and there are still family rules to follow and expectations to meet. 

But yes, yes, some big changes DO inevitably come with being 16.  She will be able to date now, with rules of course.  They must be group dates, no 1-on-1 yet.  She needs to date more than just one person all the time.  Her curfew is 11pm, unless the event ends at 11pm, then we’ll agree beforehand on a reasonable amount of travel time to get home and then adjust her curfew accordingly.  For every time she’s late without prior arrangements, her curfew goes back 5 minutes.  She can’t go on a date every single Friday and Saturday night – there still needs to be a balance with schoolwork and family time.

She does not have her permit yet, so there’s no license to look forward to today, and I feel kind of bad about that.  We have to send her to a driving school here, and it’s going to cost a small fortune.  We haven’t exactly had that lying around, and our daughter has been very understanding.  The goal is to get registered by the end of the month, get her started towards her license, and hopefully by the fall she’ll be behind a wheel.

She’s been very eager to have some kind of job with regular income, and we have a promising lead on that.  She really wants to begin earning her own money, and I would love for her to pay for her own cell phone!

So yes, some things do change with becoming Sweet 16.  But one thing will never change:  she’ll always be my baby!