Turning 13 is a time for memories

January 06, 2012|Lisa Prejean

As of last Monday, there are two teenagers living in my house.

Well, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that there are two teenagers sleeping in my house. They come home, crash for a while and then get on the move again.

Wow, it's hard to keep up with them.

Last Sunday night a group of junior high girls congregated at my house for a birthday sleepover at my daughter's request. You only turn 13 once, and the event is best shared with your buddies.

We used to call these events slumber parties, but that term is so passé. I've come to the conclusion that it's not just because parents referred to these get-togethers as slumber parties. (Who wants to use the same words as their parents?) Today's teens don't use the term "slumber" because there's not much slumbering going on at these parties.

Now teens like calling the parties sleepovers for a very specific reason: Essentially, they know they'll sleep after the party's over.

I found myself wanting to be 13 again for a split second, sharing secrets with my best girlfriends, listening to our favorite songs and getting popcorn in our sleeping bags.

Then I decided I'd rather sleep.

Do you know how hard it is to be a good mom and not be a party pooper at the same time?

At 11:30 p.m., I made my first attempt.

"OK, girls, come up from the basement. Everybody get in your sleeping bags. You can watch a movie and all drift off as you get tired."

Was I thinking that would actually happen? Well, yes. I was tired. Weren't they?


At 2:30 a.m., I heard giggles coming from the living room.

"Girls, you need to turn off the lights, the TV, the iPods, the phones, the laptops ... and go to sleep."

They wanted to know if they could watch another movie.

"No. You'll all get sick. You need to sleep."

Plus, I wanted to get back to bed. Soon.

Reluctantly, they obeyed.

The next morning I expected them to be worn out, groggy and grumpy. Initially, I thought that would be the scenario. They were moving very slowly until I announced that the homemade waffles were done.

Then they were all giggly and energetic again.

When it was time for the girls to go home, I expected my daughter would want to sleep the rest of the day.

Silly me.

"Hey, Mom. Can we still go shopping?"

I had promised her that we would take a birthday outing to buy a new dress. So, I needed to follow through, even if I wasn't feeling up to it.

"Sure, dear," I responded, and out the door we went. Even though there wasn't a decent dress to be found, we still had fun looking.

After all, you only turn 13 once.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send email to her at

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