Today, my daughter, Hormonie, is thirteen. She may think January 6th, the Epiphany, is about her, but it’s all about me. Hermommie woke up looking like a Death Eater, the Dark Mark under each eye, evil roots black as night, and skin of—what else?—elder. Overnight, I became the parent of a teenager. A teenanger.
It won’t be all bad, will it? It could hardly be worse than last year. And there’s evidence that she’s outgrown her parseltongue. Last night, at dinner, she told me she loved me. And I didn’t even have to give her money.
But it’s not about her, a girl whose favorite bands are Pink Floyd, Sweet, and the Records, while other girls her age are drooling over Justin Bieber; a girl who can nail the sax solo in “Us and Them,” then hit the drums on “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” and then play the lead guitar on “Over the Hills and Far Away” and then sing “Use Somebody”—while drumming!—and sound like the record; a girl who is so quick witted that when I apologized yesterday for my foul language (“The crows are fucking amazing!”), she replied, “I don’t give a shit”; a girl who—wait! It’s not about her.
For Christmas this year, Serena got me a gift certificate for a facial. My appointment is today, but I doubt that even Gina’s powerful elderflower and polyjuice potion can turn back the withered, arthritic hands of time. I guess that’s OK. Truth be told, I wear my marks of motherhood with pride (and just a dash of Photoshop magic).
All of this is just a fancy way to declare my continuing love for my daughter, despite her age and disposition, and to say, in the clearest way* that she will understand:
*Happy Birthday, Serena!
If you want to translate English to parseltongue, go to the parselmouth.
The Records? Jeez, I thought only old people like me remembered that far back, when music was recorded on, well, records. "Hearts in Her Eyes" is a terrific pop tune. Your brand-new teenager has superb musical taste, which I of course attribute to excellent parenting. And happy birthday, Serena. You now have Official Legal Status to be annoying. Just don't overdo it like we did.
And I thought your Harry Potter references last year were good.
You're an amazing mother, so of course you'd have an amazing girl. I find it heartening to read about your relationship — it's nice to be reminded that we can bicker every day and still love each other.
Happy birthday to Serena. Good luck to you. Hope you both have a blast.
I always wnjoy reading your writings.
Happy birthday to Serena.
Congrats to hermommie.
happy birthday serena!
most excellent post leslie.
My jazz drummer, saxophone-playing, piano-head grandso, Alex, (who at 14 turned seemingly overnight into a chick magnet) would turn speechless at the sight of the beauteous Serena. His mouth would open and close like a baby bird's.
Cool post. Don't mind me, Serena — Happy Birthday.