8.13.2013

The Coolness of Being Thirteen

Thirteen is cool, says my eldest daughter Gisela, who should know. She says thirteen is when people take you seriously, because you're finally a teenager. Thirteen is different. It matters. You matter.

For me, hers is a bittersweet declaration. I am astounded by the lithe, strong, clever, independent-minded young woman she is turning into, but I'll admit -- I really liked the before-teen phase, with kids who were not self-aware about coolness, still mostly obedient, who still looked up to me as the ultimate font of knowledge, had no hangups about hiking with Mommy, playing family geography trivia games, and agreed that Star Trek marathons are a fantastic way to spend quality time together. These days, she'd much rather code Tumblr themes.

Mine is a selfish perspective, admittedly. But I suspect many parents in my spot also long for the days when their now-skeptical, slightly haughty teens were still kids, as well as wide-eyed, trusty companions & sidekicks, even as we embrace the people they are becoming.

I write 'kids' because Gisela has a younger brother Leo, who is also approaching teenhood. She is a few months past thirteen, he has a few months until thirteen. Leo pushes those teen buttons differently than Gisela because he is not her, and also because he is Autistic with a capital A. While Gisela will now debate with me outright about choices and chores, Leo -- who reserves the right not to speak unless it really matters -- will merely give me a sidelong glance to let me know that he heard me but has no intention of complying, then take off in the opposite direction.

What thirteen has not changed is their relationship with each other. They have never known a life outside each other's periphery, have always had a deep affection and connection with each other (though they both bicker like jaybirds with their eight-year-old sister India). Gisela is one of the few people who can help Leo calm down when he's distraught and not able to self-soothe. Leo always accepts Gisela as she is -- he doesn't care whether she has the right shoes, makeup, or hair (all potentially earth-shattering choices for Gisela's version of thirteen), he's always glad to see her. I am glad they remain the sweetest of companions to each other, even as they push back at me, even though I don't hold them even remotely responsible for how that pushing back makes my heart ache.

But whenever that pushing back really hurts, I can always remind myself how lucky our family is, just to have all three of our kids so alive and so healthy. Gisela and I just returned from a trip to visit friends in Ghana, a country that has had many successful vaccine campaigns. However, it was very clear during our visit that other African countries still struggle to get vaccinations to all those who deserve protection from vaccine-preventable disease. Gisela's good fortune in being fully vaccinated was not lost on her.

I am also glad my kids are alive and healthy, because when Leo was first diagnosed with autism, I was one of those smart, well-informed parents who nonetheless blamed vaccines. I regret this lapse in judgment, hope my ignorance was not contagious, and now work very hard to share legitimate vaccine information (i.e., the evidence is against a link to autism) in the autism and parent communities.

And I will continue to hug both my teens as hard as I can, any time they will let me. Even if it's not always cool.

This post is inspired by Shot@Life, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation that educates, connects and empowers the championing of vaccines as one of the most cost effective ways to save the lives of children in the world’s hardest to reach places.

During Shot@Life’s Blogust, 31 bloggers, one each day in August, are writing about moments that matter. For every comment on this post and the 30 other posts, Walgreens will donate a vaccine (up to 50,000 vaccines). A child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease. We can change this reality and help save kids’ lives!

Sign up here for a daily email so you can quickly and easily comment and share every day during Blogust! Stay connected with Shot@Life at www.shotatlife.org, join the campaign on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Every last comment on this counts -- even a WOOT -- so spread the word, and help stop the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases.

343 comments:

  1. what a lovely post about your lovely children

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Catherina, thank you for reading it. :)

      Delete
  2. Scala3:22 AM

    Siblings are the best, mine helped me through tough times and we all love each other unconditionally. We still argue, but there's always love and support to be found. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel the same way about my three brothers. They used to tell me they wanted to exchange me for a goat, now we all get on.

      Delete
  3. Your children sound so much like my two oldest. Though the years have taken them to different states--though each has kids and careers--they remain as close as ever. Thank you for lovely post! And for your commitment to a better world for all children. Thanks Walgreens and Shot@Life for helping make this happen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a relief to hear about children getting through their teens and doing well. Thank you, Frank.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous5:00 AM

    Ah, I remember my daughter going into that thirteen age group and really thought for a while that I had lost her forever. But then she came back one day. Grown now with children of her own, the struggles of the teens are far behind and she is not only my daughter but my friend. So, too, will your daughter and children transition - just have to tough it out. But it sounds like you have a great attitude and ability to help them experience life - Ghana - wow! And thank you for helping others see the value of vaccines for all God's children

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you your reassurances. Ghana was indeed a wow, such a wonderful country & we have such amazing friends there.

      Delete
  5. Veramur5:06 AM

    Thank you for this great blog celebrating your children.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have a newly minted thirteen year old and am feeling pulled in two directions too - missing the young, carefree girl who was happy to dive into anything family (Scrabble, anyone?), and now figuring out our rolls and relationship as she spreads her wings and tests out new flight patterns. You describe Gisele and Leo's relationship so beautifully, and the picture of the two of them just squeezes my heart. What a team they make. I love getting to support Shot@Life's vaccine initiative by commenting here, and love your post. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. New flight patters. That's it exactly. Good luck with your own girl, and thanks so much for commenting.

      Delete
  7. Wendy5:38 AM

    Thank you for your sensitive, thoughtful post, especially your reflections regarding autism and vaccines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Wendy. As Christine Vara commented below, the full version of my journey from anti- to pro-vax autism parent can be read at Shot of Prevention: http://shotofprevention.com/2010/10/04/why-my-child-with-autism-is-fully-vaccinated/

      Delete
  8. Anonymous5:43 AM

    Thank you for sharing for @ shot at life

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous5:45 AM

    Time must be moving fast! Interesting to read about your point of view on vaccines. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right, I do feel like we're parenting at fast-forward speed sometimes. Thank you for reading.

      Delete
  10. My 3rd and middle child is now 13 and I definitely agree that 13 can be a challenging and pivotal year. But having witnessed how my two older daughters came through it to be such charming, considerate and thoughtful young adults gives me hope and confidence that the younger three will each have their own 13 experiences, only to make them the strong and passionate adults that I'm certain they will be. At 13 Gisele may be concerned about her relationships and appearance more than you may have expected, but she can also travel with you to Ghana, see the inequities in this world and know enough to be grateful for the value of vaccines. Make no mistake about it. She is still learning from you, the ultimate role model. Thank you Shannon for being such a consistent supporter of vaccines for the many years that I have known you. Your guest post on our Shot of Prevention blog is still widely read today, 3 years after it originally posted. (http://shotofprevention.com/2010/10/04/why-my-child-with-autism-is-fully-vaccinated/) And thank you for making such a significant contribution to the Shot@Life campaign. Every Child By Two is so proud one of their partners and thrilled that they have also partnered with bloggers as caring as you for #Blogust13.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Christine, I have likewise always appreciated the work you do on behalf of our and all children's health. And thank you for the reassurances based on veteran parent experience -- so appreciated, and good luck with your not-yet-teens as well!

      Delete
  11. Bobbiejo5:49 AM

    I agree in the importance of siblings as mine has also been such a support to me. Despite our differences or perhaps because of these, we have been there for each other through some difficult times and difficult illnesses and have only gotten closer. I am glad that Leo and Gisela share such a loving bond too.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous5:52 AM

    This was a lovely post. I remember that age well and it was a time me and my brother didn't speak but have become close again.

    thanks for sharing. thanks for supporting shot@life and the united nations foundation.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love your description of Gisela and Leo's relationship, their similarities and differences. Thanks so much for supporting Shot@Life!

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a beautiful post, filled with family love and universal love. Thank you for being a voice for vaccines and for your great support of Shot@Life.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous6:17 AM

    Thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous6:46 AM

    Thank you for the beautiful post. And thank you for standing up for vaccines and helping parents make informed decisions concerning immunizations and autism.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Tried to comment/not sure it took so this one is to make sure!! Loved this post!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous6:57 AM

    Thanks for helping Shot@Life!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous7:03 AM

    Thanks for sharing! great post.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous7:03 AM

    Really interesting to hear how your views changed. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thirteen surely seems bittersweet. I know I practically destroyed my mother at thirteen (and fourteen and fifteen...). The only thing somewhat preparing me for that is knowing that, more than anyone (and that includes my husband, who I love very much), my mom is my best friend in the world now. (And she always has been, even when I didn't appreciate it at thirteen.) Good luck with the teen years.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I just love how they are looking at each other in the photo. What love.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Nicole Paladin7:17 AM

    Reminds me of me and my brother at that age!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks for this post! And what a lovely idea to have vaccines given!

    ReplyDelete
  26. A brave and beautiful post.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous7:36 AM

    beautiful kids !

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous7:37 AM

    13 is a right of passage.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous7:39 AM

    What a wonderful, heartfelt story! Thanks Squidalicious!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous7:41 AM

    Let's give more kids a shot at life! Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Anonymous7:42 AM

    Comments = 1 vaccine! What a great campaign!

    ReplyDelete
  32. What a great post and a great cause. Thank you so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Anonymous7:52 AM

    Great post! Let's get as many comments as possible. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hayley7:53 AM

    Love this campaign. Make sure everybody to comment as much as possible!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Anonymous7:58 AM

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I love the relationship between your kids and thank you for sharing how your view changed on vaccines!

    ReplyDelete
  36. What a beautiful description of your kids and especially your daughter. I love how you share a little of their relationship

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (Ack - got cut off) ... and their obvious warmth and love for each other. Those are the moments we're doing this for!

      Delete
  37. This is an amazing, personal story thank you so much for this glimpse into your world and an opportunity to help.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Anonymous8:03 AM

    Beautiful story about your children. The importance of vaccines is certainly becoming a more discussed issue within schools. It is with hope that Shot@Life can lead the way to a better life for many children where vaccines are challenging to get. I feel that they have opened many doors already-I hope that they continue to reach out to those in need.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks for sharing your children. And for your support of vaccination. And for your account of recanting your earlier stance.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thank you for sharing your change of opinion about vaccines and autism. The evidence does not support a link between them and more parents need to be educated about the current research. How wonderful that your 13 year old is such a support and great sibling for her brother with autism.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Anonymous8:08 AM

    It is wonderful that you and Gisela got the chance to visit Ghana and to immerse yourselves in a culture of those in need. I am sure that your children will have a better appreciation for their privileges of being vaccinated.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Anonymous8:11 AM

    Beautiful Blog.
    It gives me great pleasure knowing that you have changed your opinion in linking autism and vaccines.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Anonymous8:12 AM

    it's great to see such an intimate relationship between your son and daughter. that's incredible that she has the ability to help him calm down when it's not possible to self-soothe. it's also great to see a parent who does not blame vaccines for their child's autism. you are so informed, and it's incredible. keep spreading your experience so others will continue to know the importance of vaccination!

    ReplyDelete
  44. What a wonderful reminder of the perspective of children- and the kindness and love shared between your children. Thanks for sharing as part of Blogust!

    ReplyDelete
  45. What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your family with us. My daughter is six. I cannot even begin to think of 13, and yet ... sometimes I blink and see it!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Anonymous8:23 AM

    This is excellent!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Anonymous8:50 AM

    No one has said it yet, so WOOT!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Anonymous9:02 AM

    Great read Shannon! My oldest is 14 and the twins just turned 12 so I feel your pain! I will never stop the hugs and I love you's either and do it every chance I get!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Anonymous9:08 AM

    Thanks for your blog post! My sister is a senior in high school and it is so scary that my little sis is growing up!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Anonymous9:10 AM

    Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Anonymous9:10 AM

    Thank you for your wonderful post

    ReplyDelete
  52. Anonymous9:16 AM

    excellent!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Great post and thanks particularly for sharing your rethinking about vaccines and autism.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Dan Ciruli9:19 AM

    Wow - simply beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Anonymous9:21 AM

    thank you for your wonderful post!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Anonymous9:21 AM

    Thanks for sharing this article.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Today my child shouted: I am DONE with being nine! I want to be a teenager!

    Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I miss those kiddos - and YOU! I recently heard about Shot@Life, and *knew* you'd be involved with them somehow. :)

    ReplyDelete
  59. Awesome kids, awesome post <3

    ReplyDelete
  60. Anonymous9:30 AM

    Appreciate you denouncing the purported link between autism and vaccines. Andrew Wakefield has done a great disservice! We need more voices like yours and your daughter's to help get vaccines to all children. Thank you for your post and for your good work.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Anonymous9:31 AM

    I've been really thinking about this lately. My oldest is almost 20, so I experienced 13 and the drive to be independent, although this happened for me on a greater scale when she turned 16. My son is a preteen and I'm so worried about what Jr High and High will do to him. He has a mild learning disability and I want him to be happy and secure. I'm so glad all my children are healthy and live in a country that provides vaccines. Thanks for the post. You are right it is so bitter sweet. I'm tearing up as I think about it.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Anonymous9:33 AM

    13 is cool!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Anonymous9:41 AM

    yea!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Anonymous9:49 AM

    It's wonderful to read that all three of you get along quite well. Family means a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Kierstyn9:49 AM

    What a beautiful story! Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Anonymous9:50 AM

    Great cause!

    ReplyDelete
  67. Anonymous9:58 AM

    This is a great initiative

    ReplyDelete
  68. Anonymous10:09 AM

    Thank you for sharing your story and supporting this initiative. It sounds like you have 2 beautiful, wonderful children who are very lucky to have a mother like you.

    ReplyDelete
  69. So beautifully written... truly from the heart. What lucky kids to have such an insightful mom!

    ReplyDelete
  70. Sounds like you're handling the beginning of teendom pretty fabulously!!!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Rick and family10:19 AM

    Thank you for sharing such intimate and heartfelt information about your feelings and your children. We also greatly appreciate how you have acknowledged your mistaken views about vaccines and are now working towards getting more children vaccinated. You are to be commended on all fronts.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Anonymous10:19 AM

    Vaccinate!

    ReplyDelete
  73. We too are barreling toward 13 with our ASD boy, though his older sister (who fights with him something awful...but is taking AP Psychology this year in high school on her self-professed path to becoming an OT or psychologist who works with autistic kids) is quite a bit past that age. (Sob.) Lovely post!

    ReplyDelete
  74. Great article. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Nick &amp; Annette10:22 AM

    Oh those were the days! Thanks for supporting this fantastic cause!

    ReplyDelete
  76. I want to help kids everywhere get what they need! Health, opportunity and choices!!!

    ReplyDelete
  77. Anonymous10:27 AM

    Lucky kids, lucky mom! A lovely post.

    ReplyDelete
  78. What a gorgeous meditation on your children's relationship(s), insights, gifts to each other, and impact on each other and you. Thank you for the window into it.

    Also thank you for your candid testimony about your own evolving position on pseudoscientific "links" between autism and vaccines. And especially, thank you for sharing your daughter's awareness. That "Gisela's good fortune in being fully vaccinated was not lost on her" ensures that it is not lost on us.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Amanda Jones10:30 AM

    A smile from a fellow astounded mother of teens. Lovely ruminations, great writing, and another fantastic cause. Thanks for taking it up. Cannot wait to hear about Ghana.

    a

    ReplyDelete
  80. kaitlyn10:41 AM

    Love Blogust!

    ReplyDelete
  81. We are on vacation this week with lots of backseat bickering, so this perspective came in extra-handy. Thanks, as always, for your amazing writing and ever-inspiring honesty.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Sulalaki10:45 AM

    I'm with Ellen. I'm driving cross-country with four fighting demons, err, I mean children. But the love is somewhere underneath it all! Right? J

    ReplyDelete
  83. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  84. Thank you for your beautiful story of your children! And thank you Walgreens for all you're doing to help!

    ReplyDelete
  85. Anonymous11:01 AM

    Longtime fan of Leo & his family, especially his take-no-prisoners mother. Woot!

    Heather near Atlanta

    ReplyDelete
  86. Anonymous11:09 AM

    I have 16 year old boy/girl twins,they have their ups and downs, but when apart, miss each other terribly. Even though it's not "cool" to admit it :)

    ReplyDelete
  87. Anonymous11:12 AM

    Congratulations for this article. Wish all the best to all!

    ReplyDelete
  88. I started reading without the explicit understanding that should've been implied, that there would be tears. Thank you for sharing. I think the tears came when I read about how pushing you away aches. Mine is 3 and I am already not looking forward to those days.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us!

    ReplyDelete
  89. Anonymous11:19 AM

    Thank you Walgreens! Vaccines are valuable additions to our international development toolboxes and I love being able to do something simple to help someone else's survival.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Anonymous11:25 AM

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Savannah11:25 AM

    Wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Julie Ross Godar11:26 AM

    What a sweet description of your kids' relationship, Shannon. (And if you ever feel like you need a dose of geography trivia, I'm your gal. Did you see this today? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/08/12/40-maps-that-explain-the-world/)

    ReplyDelete
  93. Anonymous11:28 AM

    Thank you for your blog post. Interesting about your take on vaccines and Autism. I recently read this interesting article just published on July 27, 2013.http://www.whiteoutpress.com/timeless/courts-quietly-confirm-mmr-vaccine-causes-autism/

    ReplyDelete
  94. My nephew has autism and he's 20 and lovin' life :o) Thanks for helping vaccinate!

    ReplyDelete
  95. Anonymous11:38 AM

    Lovely post, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  96. Thank you for this post.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Anonymous11:44 AM

    Sad, but so common I think every parent looks for something/someone to blame for inexplicable problems that befall ther children. Vaccines save lives. It's just that simple.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Anonymous11:48 AM

    Lovely post and so nice she has a brother who always keep her from getting too serious about herself and love her regardless. Excellent way of getting vaccines out there.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Yes, we must become more science literate. Preventing your child from getting vaccines for horrible deadly diseases is a misstep, when millions of children are not vaccinated.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Lynn J11:54 AM

    Thank you for this great article! You & your children sound amazing! You're blessed to have your three children and they're blessed to have you as their parent! Good luck and God bless you all! ♥

    ReplyDelete
  101. Anonymous12:01 PM

    Thank you very much for your lovely words. And thank you for helping vaccinate children!

    ReplyDelete
  102. Anonymous12:02 PM

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  103. I hear you on thirteen! And happy to comment to donate a vaccine. Will share as well on my pages.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Anonymous12:14 PM

    Good stuff. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Anonymous12:25 PM

    Great article and bravo to Walgreen's for donating vaccines!

    ReplyDelete
  106. Thank you so much for sharing this--and contributing to such an important effort.

    More than 100 children vaccinated so far, whoo!

    ReplyDelete
  107. Anonymous12:30 PM

    Woot!

    ReplyDelete
  108. Anonymous12:33 PM

    Wonderful!! Amazing!!

    ReplyDelete
  109. A great initiative!

    ReplyDelete
  110. What a wonderful blog and cause!

    ReplyDelete
  111. Anonymous12:48 PM

    Nice article, thank you. Interesting to learn about Ghana.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Anonymous12:58 PM

    Great. love all the UN Foundation campaigns. Let's get more comments!

    ReplyDelete
  113. Anonymous1:02 PM

    Awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  114. Anonymous1:03 PM

    Good luck to your teen, Gisela, and all the other soon-to-be and actual teens! It's a tough phase filled with doubt, questions and weird feelings/emotions and thoughts but also one of discovery, newly-found independence, dreams and aspirations. We all must enjoy each stage and year of life we are blessed with. Cheers to all and with love and best wishes :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous1:54 PM

      Great description of challenges of teen years both for teenager and parents. Sounds like Gisela has a good heart. Appreciated your comments regarding autism and vaccination issue.

      Delete
  115. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful post for a great cause!

    ReplyDelete
  116. Anonymous1:49 PM

    That is truly a lovely story about your family. I am so glad they are close and have each other. I tell my two girls when they're grown, and Mom, Dad and Grandma are gone, they'll still have each other. To love one another and build a foundation now for an indestructible relationship later.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Anonymous1:52 PM

    What a nice blog about Gisela reaching her teenage years. I remember those with my daughter.
    Thirteen is a great number!

    ReplyDelete
  118. Thanks for the lovely post.

    ReplyDelete
  119. I loved reading about your son & daughter! The teenage phase won't last too long..I'm 25 and decided to live with my mom again! :) All the best to your family!

    ReplyDelete
  120. Anonymous2:33 PM

    You write very well - all three of your children are blessed to have a Mother who loves them with such intelligence.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Anonymous2:33 PM

    Thanks for sharing this :)

    ReplyDelete
  122. Anonymous2:41 PM

    I barely remember turning 13, however i do remember the stages of waiting to be double digits, 10; teenager,13; driving 16, legal 18, drinking 21...now i am 25 and no longer want to push the years. time goes to quick!

    ReplyDelete
  123. So so true. We have two hurtling towards thirteen in this house. Great post, great cause.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Anonymous3:14 PM

    I love this age. I Love their take on the world and how they're forming their own opinions. Feeling very hopeful for the future!

    ReplyDelete
  125. Anonymous3:26 PM

    Someday you may look back on this phase as the best time with your kids.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Anonymous3:36 PM

    Excellent!

    ReplyDelete
  127. Gemma Jeva4:02 PM

    Thanks for sharing! 13teen is bittersweet and cool: a new step in your familylife!

    ReplyDelete
  128. Anonymous4:03 PM

    As many a mother who dealt with the 13 and + years, I now have the friend and daughter that is the best - she is a great mom and we talk of those days when we both wondered if we'd survive the growing process. I wouldn't change it. As a mother, my daughter debated the issues of vaccines. She worked out her issues and knows the importance of having the vaccines.

    ReplyDelete
  129. 13!! Wow. I love reading about each age. It all seems so far away.

    ReplyDelete
  130. gfimmano4:20 PM

    Thanks for this insightful post!

    ReplyDelete
  131. Anonymous4:33 PM

    What a nice way to see.

    ReplyDelete
  132. Anonymous4:35 PM

    This is lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  133. Anonymous4:49 PM

    Woot!

    ReplyDelete
  134. Anonymous5:12 PM

    Love this campaign!!!

    ReplyDelete
  135. Thank you for all the work you've done on educating parents that autism is not caused by vaccines. And thank you for participating in this campaign. Lovely post.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Lovely post...thanks

    ReplyDelete
  137. Anonymous5:24 PM

    Woot! :)

    ReplyDelete
  138. I love this.

    ReplyDelete
  139. My son is still a few years from teenhood, but I am feeling all of those things too...seems like he is growing up so fast. Thanks for your effort toward the vaccine program.

    ReplyDelete
  140. "While Gisela will now debate with me outright about choices and chores, Leo -- who reserves the right not to speak unless it really matters -- will merely give me a sidelong glance to let me know that he heard me but has no intention of complying, then take off in the opposite direction."
    It's all true. I'm a witness.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Anonymous5:40 PM

    nice

    ReplyDelete
  142. this is important and valuable. and sweet.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Anonymous5:53 PM

    Great post. Tfs.

    ReplyDelete
  144. my 13 year old is too cool for school. at least until Thursday.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Anonymous6:10 PM

    I have a 13-year-old of my own, as of three weeks ago. Though I'm not sure I ever considered her obedient. Good post, and good cause.
    Gretchen in KS

    ReplyDelete
  146. Anonymous6:10 PM

    bless you and your darlings!

    ReplyDelete
  147. Erin AM6:10 PM

    You are an amazing mom, everyone should have a mom like you! Gisela is so lucky!

    ReplyDelete
  148. Ahhhh—13. Such a lovely age. And you've got TWO! More power to you, sister. Thank you for sharing your babies with us, and for doing it around such an incredible cause.

    ReplyDelete
  149. Just realized how long ago 13 was for me and how close it is for my son! AH! Thanks for sharing your story!

    ReplyDelete
  150. Another lovely posting Shannon. :)

    ReplyDelete
  151. Anonymous6:35 PM

    It's really great that you're participating in the Blogust event. Keep up the good parenting!

    ReplyDelete
  152. Idris6:41 PM

    This is very lovely; thank you very much for sharing. I enjoyed being a teenager as well. I still got that special attention from my parents but with some more freedom to do things on my own.

    ReplyDelete
  153. What a great post, thank you for sharing!! Shot@Life!!

    ReplyDelete
  154. Fratina6:45 PM

    Thank you for this excellent post.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Scott Bunkelmann6:47 PM

    Thank you for a wonderful post and thank you Walgreens for helping to save lives with your generous donations of vaccines.

    ReplyDelete
  156. I want to be counted. I am so glad to read your perspective! Thank heavens for informed perspectives!

    ReplyDelete
  157. Oh my how Gisela has grown.

    For my own Jumper Girl, the 12th year was much more stormy -- but now she is twice twelve, and I am shocked to reflect that she will hit the quarter-century mark in a few short months.

    And yes, the relationship between Gisela and Leo is a beautiful sight.

    Thanks for sharing your family, and thanks to all who are participating in #Blogust 13. Especial thanks to Walgreens.

    ReplyDelete
  158. Anonymous7:36 PM

    enjoyed hearing your story. good luck with the teen years!

    ReplyDelete
  159. Anonymous7:36 PM

    Lovely post and sentiments. I like how you are using the blogosphere for activism.

    ReplyDelete
  160. Parenting13 is awesome. So is 14, and *gasp* just turned 15

    ReplyDelete
  161. Awww...It's really cute how they are siblings yet sweetest companion of each other. Lovely. That's how it should for all siblings.

    Basirat

    ReplyDelete
  162. Anonymous8:30 PM

    Such a nice story

    ReplyDelete
  163. 13 was bittersweet. No longer a child, like you said, but also you don't know what the future holds.

    ReplyDelete
  164. Monica T.9:52 PM

    Such a beautiful story about your kids. Thanks for sharing... and thanks for supporting Shot@Life!
    I wish you and your kids all the best...

    ReplyDelete
  165. Teenagers will always need (and appreciate) a listening ear and a hug. Thanks for sharing this special bond between your son and daughter.

    ReplyDelete
  166. Anonymous11:56 PM

    Loved the pic of the kids. Sweetness for sure. Great cause....thanks

    ReplyDelete
  167. Like you my son with autism will be thirteen in a few months. I've had two older sons reach that milestone, but my youngest's transition to adolescence will be the most bittersweet.

    Like you I am also passionately pro-vaccine.

    ReplyDelete
  168. What an amazing bond shared between siblings. I am glad that you allowed ur daughter to share in your Africa experience. Your self disclosure is refreshing. Thanks for sharing. God bless and all the best as you continue to parent esp during the next couple of teenage years :)

    ReplyDelete
  169. Anonymous4:42 AM

    Vaccines are a blessing in our modern world. Thank you for you generosity in sharing

    ReplyDelete
  170. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  171. A beautiful sharing.God bless your family especially your two cut children. Heartfelt thanks to you to giving us opportunity to be with the noble initiative of Shot@Life to stop the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases.

    ReplyDelete
  172. Paula B.7:10 AM

    Thanks for sharing Gisela with us, and your feelings about all the children.

    ReplyDelete
  173. I'm a bit scared of what the teen years will hold for my boys. Mostly because they will be bigger than me and a bit harder to catch. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  174. 13 is a turning point. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  175. Wonderful post! Thanks so much for supporting such a great cause! I've been a fellow champion with Shot@Life since the beginning and am proud to continue my work to give every child a chance at a healthy life!

    ReplyDelete
  176. Thank you for taking the time to be involved in Shot@Life, and for giving us the opportunity to do even a little bit.

    ReplyDelete
  177. I guess the only comfort is that eventually the pushing back will start, and the drawing in will begin again. I look back on all the pushing I did to my mom, and now I can't get enough of that woman! :)

    ReplyDelete

Respectful disagreement encouraged.

Related Posts with Thumbnails