So my oldest is turning 13 in a few months and as I am a stickler for rules, I have not yet allowed her to have a Facebook page. She has instagram but only people she has met in person (ie: school friends) or family. I find that these last remaining months of her being a child before the word "teen" is permanently attached to her, are bitter sweet for me. On one hand I am very excited to watch her grow, and explore, perfect her skill in the sport she loves. so close to being the wonderful woman she is and yet ( thankfully ) so far as well. Trapped, for now, in an endless struggle between child and teen. beginning to look more womanly and yet still so childlike. On the other hand, I am terrified. The older she gets the more I have to let go. Allow her to flutter and maybe fall a bit before she gets the hang of it and begins to fly! For now I'm ok with her having a bit more independance, staying home alone for a bit, she has always chosen her own clothes and known her own mind as I have tried to raise her to think for herself, never conform to being like one person just be herself. But it's the safety that makes me hold tighter not wanting to let go of the strings tying her to her childhood that are slowly releasing as she nears her teenage years. I still haven't let her cook more than simple things like Kraft dinner. I know this is silly and maybe it's partly that it's just easier to say no than to deal with the raucous of giving advice, keeping the younger two out of the way, and worrying that she will burn something or worse...herself. but now she nears the age of Facebook. This is what she looks forward to most. Lol it has been an endless joke for her to ask " can I have Facebook now"?. In a few months I lose my reason , my excuse to keep her sheltered from the cruelty of social media. I know that this is life, what is on Facebook is simply life, life is cruel. But as a mother I want to take her in my arm and shush her and murmer it's all right, for the rest of her life. I don't want her to ask questions like " what's a ( insert offensive term here) mom?" I don't want her to see the disgusting displays of sexuality and racism, bigotry, backstabbing, and name calling and everything else that comes with having teens on social media. Cyber bullying, internet stalking, perverts and dangerous manipulator and just plain rudeness. I can control this to some extent for now. Restricting friends to family and people she knows, insisting on having the password etc. But I am not delugional, one day I will be the mom of an adult woman, this means that I cannot hold tight forever. She will have to face this world with its cruelties and dangers and wonderful treasures and I will have to let the strings that will tie her to her teenage years slip away from me, as I must do with the strings from her childhood. But for now, I will hold her close ( when she lets me) and I will try and I will walk that balance between keeping her safe and letting her grow. she will make she is strong and smart and responsible, and this is life.