When Your Daughter Turns 17…

I started this blog with the intent to be all real-all the time. So here’s the reality.

Watching my daughter turn 17 (SEVENTEEN!!) has hit me hard.

I adore our daughter. She’s the only girl, wedged between two boys. Her older brother, aka The Golden Child and younger brother, aka The Wild Child. As if being the only girl wasn’t difficult (or as a tell her SPECIAL) enough, she is The Dreaded Middle Child. Might be that being the only girl in this non-coveted position in our family has helped. I’m not sure she would agree. She’s still lobbying for a baby sister (as if).

Because I am totally self-absorbed (thank you for confirming, Lori and Jill), today I am focusing on how this milestone, banner day (speaking of which…hang on while I run down and get the Decorative Birthday Flag from the basement that I forgot to put up!)…and I’m back…is impacting ME.

Sunday, Sarah and I went shopping at Kohls and Tar-zjay (Target for you that don’t speak Southern). Trust me when I tell you that sitting in the dressing room at the age of 47 while your 17 year old daughter tries on clothes is NOT affirming! Oy. I couldn’t wait to get the heck outta there and check out (of reality).

Seriously, I don’t WANT to be 17 again (as evidenced by the title and entire subject matter of this blog) but I could totally go for having my 17 year old body back. I’d take better care of it this time ’round. I swear I would.

Since Lori and I did put in our order for our Heavenly Bodies to be the same ones we had around this age, and I think we’re totally going to get them, it was easy to move on after the dressing room nightmare.

Let’s talk about the real issues of having your only daughter turn 17 (or 15 or 21 or 30…pick one)…

I’ve been thinking A LOT about what I was like at 17. It’s caused me not to sleep at night. Because I’m praying thankful prayers to my God that my daughter is not like I was at 17.


She knows and loves Jesus. I never thought of Him. Ever.

She is not all that consumed with grades and the academic side of school. While this has always been disturbing to me, God has reminded me (over and over, again) that He is in control and that He does have a plan for our girl. She will be fine and she will go to college, graduate and love whatever she does. I never graduated. Russell does ‘logistics’ when his degree is in communication.

She is happy and well-adjusted. She communicates with us. So much so that we always know her mood, her feelings and pretty much what she is thinking. Praise You, Jesus!

I (and my Man) avoided the parents as much as possible.

I guess my point is that, I am loving my daughter growing up into a confident, joyful young woman who loves the Lord and is totally different than I was at that age.

And I am thankful for all of the crap I went through as a teenager and young adult so that I am able to recognize the blessing that is Sarah.

6 thoughts on “When Your Daughter Turns 17…

  1. Susan, this post is precious. You are such a great mom! The beauty of knowing your child(ren) love Jesus…seriously, is there anything more rewarding? NO! It is my main goal in life. It is what keeps me awake at night. (Among other things!:() YOU HAVE THAT! You and R DID that. (Yes, God did…but YOU obeyed Him!)Anyway, hold on to that. Your family is beautiful. Thank you for sharing them!

  2. Happy birthday, Sarah!And what in the world are you doing up and posting at 2 AM, Momma?Sorry I’ve been such a lurker lately–only 12 more days of school, two book deadlines, one more speaking engagement, one business trip to Seattle–and then it’s SUMMER and back to being an in touch kind of a friend!Joanne

  3. Well, I LOVE that girl of yours and I know that is in large part due to the time and effort you and your sweet hubby have put into her and the amount of time you have spent on your knees for her.I Love you and I am thankful for the “crap” you went through too so we could learn from you.I would take my 17 year old body back too. Can I put my order in???

  4. This was so good Susan. I could completely relate to every ounce of what you said…well, except for the fact that I don’t have a daughter….HA!But the reflective part….yep. I got it and therefore hope to be thankful with my “on the right track” children when they hit that wonderful age of 17. Am I making sense?? Anyway, happy birthday to that amazing girl of yours!!Blessings, blessings, blessings~Fran

  5. Susan,I feel ya, girl. My daughter is 16and looking at colleges-teasing me that she’s going to leave me forever, confident that we will remain close in spite of where life takes us. God bless you and your Sarah.Ugh-and the dressing room thing; the only thing worse is when she insists on going in with me when I’m shopping and assuring me I’m “not THAT bad”.Kathy

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