Jenna is our only grand daughter.
This July she turns thirteen.
She is still very girly,
but she is growing up fast and
now prefers a more sophisticated look.
Once upon a time, this little girl was a three-year-old princess. She woke up in the morning, got out of bed and clopped around the house with a tiara and high heels.
She has always loved art and animals. Cuddling with Daisy, a favorite past time.
Over the years, she and I have made memories including a visit to a corn maze and a rainbow cake that nearly flopped. Last year we planned a lemony tea party and ferried to Cumberland Island with her brother and boy cousins.
This year she wants to transform her bedroom from Tween to Teen.
She is growing up and wants to create a space that will reflect her emerging teenage self.
Coming of Age, a kind of Bat Mitzvah
Jenna’s brother and cousin have passed the age of thirteen. I wrote about their reaching the age of the Jewish Bar Mitzvah here.
Both Jenna and brother Patrick are intentional about their faith and have chosen Christian baptism. The blog post about it features a scene from the baptistry.
And like her brother, she has received a letter from Nana and Grandpa on her thirteenth birthday!
Over the years, I’ve written down a few things I’ve heard Jenna say, a sampling here:
2011 Mom, “I’d like to change my name to Autumn.”
2011 After a long car trip, “I’m so tired I feel like my toe is going to fall off.”
2014 “I don’t want to get a belly ring when I’m older. I don’t want a rusty belly button.”
2015 “Being a teacher is like swallowing a dictionary and a thesaurus.”
2017: Her mother was explaining to her brother that the word boisterous meant – bouncy, loud, wild. Jenna overheard and said “Notice the root word is ‘boy.’”
Like many young girls, Jenna is descriptive, observant, and speaks her mind. I hope she retains those traits through her teen years and beyond.
What do you remember about being thirteen?
Have you heard any clever or amusing sayings lately?
Good morning, Marian. Happy Birthday to your lovely granddaughter! I wish her all the best in the future.
I like her bedroom!
First with a comment again this morning, Merril. Thanks for the good wishes!
Jenna is such a beautiful young lady. My twin nieces, who are 25 years old, have the same lovely hair color. “Being a teacher is like swallowing a dictionary and a thesaurus.” Great line! Happy birthday, Jenna!
Auburn hair color is rare. Your nieces must be twin visions of loveliness. Thanks for commenting during your busy launch time. A Father for Bella should arrive in my mailbox today or tomorrow. Curious? A story with a happy ending: https://jillweatherholt.wordpress.com/2018/07/17/its-release-day-2/
I don’t think I know how to write a story that doesn’t have a HEA! 🙂 Thanks so much for your support, Marian. <3
Happy birthday to Jenna, Marian! Jenna looks very sweet. I love her bedroom too! Such pretty colors. Love the fairy lights.
I remember being so happy to finally be a teenager! I used to read Seventeen magazine and read Archie comic books, hoping high school was like that of Riverdale. (Wasn’t.)
Yes, Seventeen attracts 13-year-olds. I was curious about the magazine, and lo and behold I discovered that it was first published in 1944 ~ amazing. I notice that other readers remember the Archie comic books too. Thank, Marie!
i remember reading those Archie comic books too. And I remember wondering how babies came from kissing. Because the True Romance stories I read while I was babysitting (not at our house!) always ended with passionate kissing! I finally discovered it in a book about the “facts of life” (also while babysitting)! I loved words and I wrote poetry under the big lilac bush. I have two granddaughters who will be turning 13 in November and December (the other two are younger.) I think of them as Rose Red and Snow White as one is dark and one is blonde. These two love each other and are on the phone a lot as they live far apart. This weekend they will be together and are super excited!
Your granddaughter is beautiful and looks like she is becoming a lovely young woman. And I’m sure you and Cliff are the best of grandparents!
I like all the romance in your response, including the family love so obvious with Rose Red and Snow White. Your facts-of-life story is hilarious. The birds and the bees information was so hush-hush back then. I remember thinking that just touching the wrong boy might result in my stomach swelling up like a watermelon. Thank God that’s not true!
Now I wonder if these young ladies will become part of a future blog post. Thank you, Elfrieda!
What a lovely young woman! I love how she updated her bedroom. The new look is perfect. It’s amazing how they are little kids one minute and teenagers the next. I wish Jenna a very Happy Birthday!!
Thank you, Darlene. Her birthday is actually tomorrow, Thursday, but she celebrated early this past weekend with three girl friends having a sleep-over.
happy, Happy, HAPPY thirteenth birthday to a beautiful young woman—Janna.
Luna Bleue is not yet born and you are anticipating happy times. Happy, happy, HAPPY times. I can’t wait for you to experience the joys close at hand. I imagine some of your future blog posts will tilt in her direction. Yes?
Happy Birthday to Jenna! Both grandma and granddaughter are blessed abundantly.
I know you relish the experience of grand-daughtering too. And like me, don’t take your times together for granted. Thanks, Linda!
It was a very formative time in my life, as I struggled to find who I really was. A precocious child, I was a source of pride to my dad, resentment from my mother, and general disgust from my siblings.
Happy birthday to Jenna and thank you for sharing her story!
The feelings you express about your dad, your mother and siblings are the stuff of stories. I wonder if you have written about this stage of your life, a time of turmoil for many of us.
Jenna has it going on. Happy Birthday to her. I like the photo of her with the cat, a cute duo. Her bedroom looks like one I’d like to sleep in– the child has good taste. Love the logic:“I don’t want a rusty belly button.” No one does, darling. Good of you to figure that out!
Ha – After she read this post, Jenna told her mother, “Did I really say that!” What a difference 4 years makes. Yes, the child has good taste and I think her ma indulges her too. Thanks, Ally Bean!
Aw, Happy Birthday to your beautiful little fashionista Marian. The photo at 3 with high heels reminded me of me! That’s how it begins! Lol 🙂 x
The other grandchildren are boys; I’m glad she’s a girl, and a girly one at that. Yes, Debby, I can imagine you as a wee fashionista, for sure!
Happy Birthday to Jenna and I love her bedroom …I love fairy lights too 🙂 x
I’m not surprised you like fairy 🧚♀️ lights; they’re so whimsical. Thanks, Carol!
HaHa..You are welcome , Marian 🙂 x
13!!! Happy birthday Jenna and here’s to the next 13, and then more thirteens! I love the photos you’ve posted Marian thank you and I laughed at her comments over the years! her toe falling off from tiredness on the car trip is priceless as are all her other comments. I like the idea of her birthday being a Bat Mitzvah …
If I think back to being 13, I don’t remember much – we were living in Zimbabwe (called Rhodesia back then) – but if I dredge up a memory it is of wide open spaces, riding bicycles, being quite naughty at the high school I was at for 6 months before we moved down south again …
Your memories of thirteen sound adventurous and typical of the age, except I can’t imagine you being naughty – ever! Thanks too for the reminder that Zimbabwe used to be called Rhodesia, which is how I remember it from geography classes. Thanks, Susan!
I had to go back and figure out what grade in school most of us are when we turn 13–soon entering high school, right? For me it was switching to our local Mennonite high school, Bethany Christian, and making new friends while leaving old ones. (This is funny, I think my cat walked across my keyboard while I was away and wroteasfdjkl; 🙂 ) Anyway, I remember the young romances, and switching boyfriends with my friends as quickly as the seasons passed. I began a lifelong friendship with a gal who I was privileged to chat with for an hour and a half recently while visiting in Indiana. Yes, great memories, and also keen pains and I know it won’t be any different for your young granddaughter, who is just lovely — and inside and out if my impressions are correct.
Thank you for your impressions and reminiscences. As for the cat 🐈 keys comment – either you are working from home or your job has permissive pet rules. Ha! Thanks for all of this on a Thursday morning, Melodie.
Where oh where did you get that hair Jenna it’s so beautiful , isn’t it Marian? Do wish that stylish teenager of a granddaughter of yours a happy birthday .
I loved being 13 …I remember platform shoes, David Cassidy , Jackie magazines. Glitter , glossy lipgloss ( when my parents weren’t looking ) Cadbury chocolate flakes…fizzy pop …I could go on forever .😂
Oh, Cherry, you are so funny! Jenna has some Irish roots in her lineage, including a great aunt with auburn hair. I like your list of teen-age “likes,” including the naughty bits.
Oh my gosh, she sounds so much like my 10-year-old granddaughter, who also is growing up so too fast. but also growing up quite marvelously. Lovely, lovely post.
Gramsy’s with grand-daughters we love! We are so fortunate, Pam. I think I’ve gotten a glimpse of your dear on in posts from time to time. Yes?
Yes, heart of my hearts, as the expression goes. And YES, we are so lucky! I told my grandsweetie that I want to live long enough to be at her college graduation and see what career she chooses. She looked at me in all honesty and said, “Madre, you’re a very young-looking grandmother. Don’t worry, you’ll still be around!” Oh my gosh, I glowed for days. 🙂 🙂 🙂
I’m sure that went into your journal, the “Madre” quote. She probably said that because you look young but you also act young at heart. Here’s to the sweethearts who endear us with quotable lines. 🙂
Hmmm, perhaps I should have my granddaughter’s quote engraved and framed, Marian. Hahaha. Just kidding. On the other hand, her younger brother asked me if when I was his age, we drove in horse and carriage. That plummeted the ego a bit. 🙂
Your grandson merely sees you as a romantic, traveling in horse and carriage. If you still feel bad, remember my dad plowed with mules!
Smiling at both your points. Yes, I am a romantic indeed and so now I LIKE the idea of me in horse and buggy. And thanks for putting everything in perspective with your dad and the mules. If anything, I think grandchildren would be impressed with a man and a mule. xo
Marian, this is such a lovely tribute to a beautiful young lady! “The Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”😊
Kathy, why thank you! I know you have a crew of grandsons, but I think you have a grand-daughter as well. Hope I’m right.
What a stylish young woman! Love her room.
You have an artistic eye. Thanks for your approval, Lady Fi!
It’s such a good idea to write down these “quotes” from you grand daughter (and other family members). She is a smart, funny and unique teen, by the sounds of it. And, they do grow up so quickly, don’t they? I don’t remember much from when I was 13, but it seems that the current youth is much bolder and stylish that we (or certainly I) were…
Absolutely, I didn’t think about being bold or stylish at that age. I was just try to stay abreast of the changes in puberty. Ha!
About the comments. All 4 grands can have a laugh (or a grimace) when they read the quotes I’ve recorded. The earlier the funnier of course. 🙂
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO GORGEOUS JENNA!
Thank you, Joan! We left steamy Florida for the NC mountains. I hope you are doing well in Charlottesville, weather-wise and otherwise.
She’s a beauty (just like her Grandmother)! I hope she had a great birthday and a great year to come.
She had a great birthday, in stages, celebrating the whole week long. Thanks for chiming in, Jenn!
Oh, I loved reading this! I pictured your granddaughter in my mind, as I read, and pictured my own granddaughters! Each one is so special! Thanks for reminding me…!
I am thrilled that Jenna’s photos reminded you of your own granddaughters. And I know you have more than one.
You are absolutely right. Each one is so special. It’s good to hear from you, Anita!
Wonderful to see the images of Jenna Skye along the way. Thank you, Marian and thank you, Jenna, for allowing your grandma to give you a “coming out” blog. I especially remember that rainbow cake!
At 13, I loved Motown, learning to dance, and doing well in school, but my young life was pervaded with sadness because my daddy was ill and not getting better. He died when I was 14, my sweetest and most affectionate parent, so that’s what I remember most from those years.
Why is it that the ones we love the most often die young? You and I are not the first (or the last) ones to pose that unanswerable question. Motown and dancing were out of reach for me as a Mennonite girl, but I’m catching up. We went to a barn dance with 8 – 80 year olds Friday night.
Jenna and her parents don’t mind my blogging about her. I appreciate that since one of my goals is to preserve family history here. You are kind to notice these things. Thank you also for the insight into your teen life, Elaine.