I'm learning what life is like, living with an older child.  My Anabel is very nearly 14.  I learn as I make my way through parenting a teenager that they sometimes take it upon themselves to take and then put pictures like this of you up on social networking sites:
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She doesn't mind that you're eating.  She thinks it's hilarious, for all that.

You don't want to make a stink about it though, for at all cost, you know you must model wholeness to her.  You mustn't come across as *insecure* of all things.  In fact, you think it's fantastic that she's chosen this picture to show her 230 friends on Facebook.  Look how whole you are, posting it here on your own blog!  That's how little you mind these things.  Now where is that picture she snapped of her Daddy peeing which she took using the dually helpful reflections of two separate mirrors?  Her thoughts on that?  He's the one who left the door open.  It's not *my* fault!
 
 
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My thoughts on old age spread through my consciousness like a science experiment carnation, steeping in food coloring saturated water.  My way of looking at life feels changed now, just as the white carnation morphs into a bright red one. 

I find myself looking at life now from a slightly, but importantly altered vantage point.  Now when I get motioned over by Oliver's teacher to debrief about his day (and we only debrief on those less-than-enchanting days, it seems), though my stab of annoyance with this spirited child still struggling for that elusive self-control isn't vanished entirely, I feel an awareness of his beautiful vibrance blanketing the lie he told about kicking his friends' lunch box as it sat - innocently - on the floor.  I hate that my little boy told a lie, but I'm conscious today - first - of the enormity of his joy.  I hope I don't forget anytime soon that these days are fleeting.  I hope I don't forget to see my wonderful child before I see the fib he tells.