Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Whitney at the reigns.

Having a thirteen year old is the BOMB!

Which is not the song I was singing last November when I waved a final goodbye to my youth as Whitney approached hers.  And it's not what I felt when I thought about my daughter and the teens.  And it's not like teenagers are supposed to be easy to raise.  But for us, so far, thirteen is good.

It is fun to see Whitney live life on her own terms.  The transition is not complete yet, of course, but we're capturing glimpses of Whitney as an independently functioning person.  And Jared and me?  We like what we see!

Case in point:

1) Whitney has started a cooking club at school.  She and her friends have big plans for the club, but at the root of it all is her joy of cooking.  Which has meant big benefits in our home.  I have almost turned cookie baking over to Whitney entirely.  Fabulous!  And there have been a few nights where it was looking like dinner just wasn't going to happen until Whitney happily took over the kitchen and made sure that we were well fed.

She's become my best resource when I need menu ideas and, the big secret???  I'll tell you.  The best tool you'll ever have in your kitchen is a child (become teen) who likes to cook!  Bless the girl!

2)  Whitney is not afraid to be her own person.  In the age where kids become lemmings and judgement takes a back seat to what "every one else is doing" my beautiful daughter proved to me that she can stand on her own.

In the last year, her friends have discovered texting.  And, it is constant.  Day and night they are at it.  And I hope I don't sound mean, but it is just stupid.  A text saying "hey, want to hang out?" is perfectly fine.  But Whitney has described what the majority of her texts look like.  A sampling is in order:

Text me.
What r u doing?
I'm bored.
What r u doing?
Text me.
Why don't u ever text me?
Is your iPod broken?
Did u turn your iPod off?
Is it lost?
R U there?
Where r u?
Text meeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

Sometimes (not kidding) Whitney gets 40 texts like this every time she turns on her iPod.  Recently she was hanging out with a friend and they sat in front of the t.v. and her friend refused to talk but would only communicate by text.

A few weeks ago Whitney had a movie night at our house with a few of her friends.  Five minutes after the girls had all arrived, she ran into the kitchen where I was, grabbed a cute little basket and was off before I even had a chance to ask what she needed.  She came back a few minutes later--returned the basket to its spot.  Only, now instead of sitting empty, it was holding every one of her friends' phones.  No texting on her turf.  They were going to chat and laugh and snack and listen to music (did you know, you can listen to music without an iPod or phone?) and then watch their movie and they were going to do it all hands free.

And you know what else was beautiful?  She reminded me of my Dad.  Her Grandpa Hoopes.  He was as charming a man as you could ask for, pleasant to talk to, and had a way of giving you his undivided attention.  However, there were times in chats with friends, where he would call the shots.  Toward the end of his life, he didn't want his visits with friends and family to be meaningless conversations--he wanted to solidly communicate friendship, love, forgiveness and when he needed to steer conversations away from fivolous topics, he would say, "look, we're on my dime" and thus would reclaim the reigns, steering the conversation where he would.

Whitney, like her Grandpa Hoopes, can take the reigns.  And you know what--I like them in her hands.


Jessica Brown said...

Way to go Whitney! I'm so proud of you taking the cel phones from your friends and socializing the old fashion way. You are an impressive teen Whit. I hope Liv can grow up to be like her beautiful cous.

Rachael said...

What a great post! I hope my kids are just like her in a few more years :)

BrookeHoopes said...

I love this. Beautiful Whitney. I also love Whitney's sense of style and kindness to others. We'll need a sampler of Whitney's cooking on your next visit! Yum!

Rachael said...

Okay... where are you these days? Come on Miss Raquel, get with the program. Your personal family history is falling by the wayside. Don't make me start posting more Tom Cruise photos on your FB account (shaking fist).

Jessica Brown said...

I miss your blogs. Please give us a blog. I don't have instagram, don't punish me for it. :)