today the girlchild is eighteen

It has been a tough year for the Girlchild, but she faced the challenges and overcame them. We couldn’t be more proud of her.

1989telling a story at seven weeks
1992full of beans
1993with her best friend Emma
2002in England
Wyoming 2003llama hiking in Wyoming, with the Mathematician
2004as Cher, for a class project
Coney IslandManhattan summer
mountain girlat Second Nature
May 2007 *Please watch for signs of depression in your teenagers:
Poor performance in school
Sadness and hopelessness
Withdrawal from friends
Loss of interest in favorite activities and subjects
Lack of enthusiasm, energy or motivation
Anger and rage
Overreaction to criticism
Feelings of being unable to satisfy ideals
Poor self-esteem
Extreme guilt
Indecision, lack of concentration or forgetfulness
Restlessness and agitation
Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
Substance abuse
Problems with authority
Suicidal thoughts or actions

Don’t wait for a teen to come to you. Deep depression is disabling. If you see these symptoms, act. Consult a professional, talk to the teen. Do not wait for a teen to come to you.

23 Replies to “today the girlchild is eighteen”

  1. The extraneous metaphor has killed many a good story…Bertolt Brecht’s stories a wonderfully example of how writing can be as tight and descriptive without metaphor or hey, even adjectives in his case. He taught me several valuable lessons in portraying more emotion with less words.

  2. For me, metaphor has to be very finely done, otherwise it’s just a distraction. I also appreciate metaphor that is appropriate to the story and/or situation–that really resonates in the context in which it’s used. As an example, one of my favorite uses of metaphor, from To Kill a Mockingbird (talking about the town of Maycomb in the summertime):

    “Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.”

    To me, the imagery is perfect, and so Southern, too. It takes me back to eating homemade teacakes in the kitchen of my great-grandmother’s farmhouse in Carrollton, Georgia. You get a very sensual vision of the women, and at the same time it is evocative of the place and time. That’s what I mean by appropriate.

  3. Okay, on second look that is probably simile and not metaphor, but the same rule applies (in my opinion).

  4. I had to comment on “corny”: it is the movie trailer voice encouraging you to watch the Cops marathon on Court TV by saying “Celebrate your freedom by watching others lose theirs.” I laughed out loud and immediately thought of your post.

  5. Rosina, Your daughter is beautiful! Love those curls (from one curly girl to another)! Happy Birthday to the Girlchild and I hope you all have a much calmer year.

  6. Happy Birthday to the Girlchild and *hugs* to you all. As a sufferer of severe clinical depression for 7 years, I know how delibetating it can be and how hard it is for your friends and family too.

  7. Happy birthday to the girlchild… 18 is a great year, even if it doesn’t look like it will be.

    Putting up that list is a great choice; I had something similar up in my office, when I taught high school. A lot of my students’ parents were almost afraid to talk to their kids about it; they need to get over the awkwardness and broach the subject!

  8. Happy Birthday Girlchild!

    I browsed through the site for second nature. How I wish I could have went there a few years ago. I’m finally happier at 22, although I am on meds for anxiety and panic disorder. As a teenager, I didn’t really know what was wrong with me, I thought I was crazy. I would have loved going to a place like Second Nature. It seems like a very healing kind of place.

    I can now say that each year is better than the previous one. Hopefully it’s the same for you and your family.

    Take care

  9. And now we know from whom Elizabeth Middleton Bonner inherits her hair. What a nice, subtle tribute.

  10. Another year already? It doesn’t seem a year since you last posted a birthday pic of Elisabeth. She gets more stunning each year.
    Teenage years are full of such highs and such lows. I know I wouldn’t want to re-live mine again, but I’m still glad I got through them and know now that a day doesn’t last forever. There is a way through it, even if it isn’t clear at the time.
    I agree with Rachel – we definitely need places like Second Nature.

    I enjoyed looking at all the photos you posted Rosina. I think that is the first one I have seen with the infamous Mathematician – great to see Dads with daughters (and he’s not bad looking either). Though I do wonder if there are any Mathematician and the llama stories, given the very interesting tale of the bat and himself…

  11. Happy Birthday Girlchild!

    Hope this year is a better one. You deserve the best -such a beautiful (dare I say) woman!

  12. Belated Birthday wishes to Elisabeth, what a beautiful girl.
    And congratulations to Mum (and Dad), for another year too.
    Thank you Rosina for the list, I think it has given me some clues and a scary wake up call re daughter #2 (14 years).

  13. Girlchild: Hope you had a happy birthday. You look so happy in your photos, we should all be so lucky to look that way when caught candidly.

  14. Hope your daughter had a great birthday. Not like an 18 year old has nothing better to do, but I recommend she get out and register to vote. (I’m in a “majority of one” kick right now.)

    Again, best wishes.

  15. Happy Birthday Girlchild from Australia!

    It was my son’s birthday on 7 May and he turned 5!

  16. Happy Belated Birthday to Elisabeth!
    I hope that this year is easier than the previous one. Dealing with depression is so very difficult. I’m glad all of you caught it and got help.

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