Birthday wish list from a 17 year old…

hannah-2When she turned 16,  she asked for a car.  It could be a used one.  I thought that generous of her.  She didn’t get a car.  I wanted buy her one, just as much as I wanted to pull a unicorn with wings out of the sky when she turned three. When my husband works at home, she drives my car. When he travels, I use the car.  A few weeks ago, I drove her to school &  I dropped her off at the front door.  After she stepped gracefully as one can while slinging an 80 pound backpack, she stuck her head back in, with furrowed brow, snarling & spewing venom,”ALL I WANT FOR MY BIRTHDAY IS A CAR.” I sent her a nasty text & ruined both our day.

As the days drew closer to her 17th birthday, I tell her, ” You are not getting a car, can you let me know what else you’d like, I can do that, maybe…or you can get nothing”  “I will try to think of something”  A few days before I received her list, I had to bring her to school, I ask, “Would you like me to drop you off in the parking lot so no one will see your mother driving you to school, your Grace?”  She answers, “No, Peasant, drop me off at the front door.”  Peace & humor restored.

I got a two page list of items she would like.  Both pages contained pictures cut out from magazines, models with red hair in different styles…

‘-eyeliner-pencil-brown.’ ‘- mascara.’ ‘-necklaces-long.’ ‘$$$.’ ‘skinny jeans.’ ‘Robert Downey Jr.’ WHAT? I think I asked for him for my 17th birthday too.  I called my mother to share this wish on her list.  My mother said,” Too bad, I claimed him before both of you.”  Three generations of woman find this man sexy as hell, eewww, gross.  The next thing on her list was ‘to be as pretty as Selena Gomez.’  Hannah has ivory skin, freckles & red, curly locks.  & in a million years, I could not be convinced that Hannah does not outshine that girl. No offense, Selena.

‘Rite aid gift card.’  If they had gift cards when I was 17, I would have wanted a drug store gift card too.  They sell potions & magic there, that will make us all beautiful, tall, big boobed, no zits etc .

She asked for a ‘Tom Hiddleson cardboard cutout’. I wondered why not the man himself, like Robert?

‘Bigger feet.’  I feel for her, she wears a size 5.  I offer big, fat gym socks.  ‘A tan.’ ‘Princess drapes over her bed (???).” $$$.’

‘Combat boots.’  I’m not really sure she could lift combat boots off the floor to propel herself forward. ‘Skinny jeans’ (again).  ‘American Eagle Gift card.” Purse.’

‘Ryan Gosling.’ I don’t get that, doesn’t he have a receding hair line? Not that thats a bad thing, but she is 17.

‘High waisted shorts.’ (really?). ‘Marilyn Monroe poster’ (really?). ‘Jade colored eyeshadow.’ ‘Eye primer.’

‘An Australian bodyguard.’  (I can understand this)

‘A skull, I want to recite Hamlet.’  God, she’s brilliant.

I’ve been given lists from her before that have made me laugh. Some had made me sad too, because she has pictures of blond models.  But this year, I find two red headed models. They have notes beside their pictures, “this hair”  I tell her she has bangs.  “oh, never mind ” she says. ” I want her hair” she says pointing to another model.  “She had her hair put up in hot rollers.”  “Oh, is that hard?”  “I don’t know, we could try it, I think Bubbe has some”  I decide she just likes Selena Gomez, otherwise she would have had brown/black haired models.

The list is a truce & a mature understanding on her part. She is beginning to understand how money goes out faster then in sometimes.  Hannah will not get a car right now, but she will get one someday soon.  I told her if I was rich, she would have what ever car she wanted.  She believes that I truly mean this.  The pictures of red headed models means that at 17, she doesn’t want to be totally different then who she is.  She is becoming comfortable in her own skin. That is a first.  I know she will doubt herself & her choices all her life. Finally liking her red hair is a wonderful thing for a me to see. I’ve always told her it’s her crowning glory, people have complemented her, her whole life on it.  When she was little, she believed the strangers & me. I think she is perfect, even her itty, bitty feet. I know they will take her far.  Because I know she is beginning to believe in herself.

36 thoughts on “Birthday wish list from a 17 year old…

  1. She’s adorable. And what’s wrong with size 5’s? I wear size 5. Except you can’t buy them anymore so I have to buy size 4 in girls-and hope I can find some without glitter, flashing lights or velcro…..being petitie and 57 ain’t easy. But I still have 17 year old tatses (to a degree) so shopping in the Jr Dept at Macy’s is great. Twice. Year during their 70%off sale! Now THAT’s a birthday gift. Happy Birthday. PS I never got a car. Best I got was to drive my Dad’s Ford Pinto station wagon to school on a few rare occasions. I only have sons. 4 of them. At least two of them wanted combat boots too! 😉


    1. hi as you say, what is wrong with size 5 feet…the simple lack of fashionalbe footwear without glitter or lights! She is turning 21 in three weeks. i cannot believe it has been almost 4 years long since i wrote her birthday with at 17. she is happy & successful. as i predicted. thanks for commenting! ~amy


    1. Wow. i’ve never gotten complimented on Hannah’s humor before. My 17 year old, she is now 20, has always been present. a quick wit. Thank you for reading & complimenting, Ron!!! ~amy


    1. I love the title of your blog…i do hope that it is a joke. I have a broken pelvis & a whole bunch of nuts & bolts holding me together, so if you want to complain about our ouches, i am here! AND my daughter does not have the Nikon. I’m a professional photographer, that Nikon was replaced with a better one. That is my back up one…sometimes it works, other times, it is just a paper weight. Thanks for reading & commenting! ~amy


  2. Dear Amy,

    Loved the post, and your daughter, via her list and the interplay between you two. Sounds like you’ve done a great job.

    She is definitely beautiful (which will be both gift and burden, as she’s yet to learn, but most would choose beauty over plain, wouldn’t we?).

    Thank you so very much for the Follow over at The Last Half! I’m so happy to have you join all of us over there : )

    –O. Babe


    1. Hi O. Babe…thank you so much for reading & complimenting my amazing daughter. She is a treasure! And like most girls, she is not pleased with her looks. She is still just as entertaining via texts i receive from her college…~amy

      Liked by 1 person

  3. your post reminds me of my teenage days. I wanted an arabian stallion. Told my parents only this horse and nothing for the next years for christmas, birthdays LOL. Did I got one? Nope. We didnt have the place for the horse and we didnt have the money. But nevertheless my parents always tried to fulfill my wishes. – except the horse hehehe


    1. I remember asking for a horse that way as well. I would want for nothing if i got a horse. Although my tastes were far from as classy as your choice. My oldest daughter asked for horses too. So i bought her the fancy plastic ones, i forget the name of the company. She is 19 years old now & doesn’t wish for a horse, nor does she like being near them, but she does have her collection, still displayed, on her bookshelf. Thank you for your comment. ~amy

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Amy,
    Thank you for stopping by
    I am enjoying your beautiful photos, but also wanted to tell you how this post made me smile! I have three teenage boys so the “list” is different 😉
    PS I always wanted curly red hair!


    1. Hi Gabrielle. I LOVE gardening, so i have to follow you. I’m glad Hannah’s list made you laugh too. She has a very dry wit. I’m sure money would appear on your sons lists. Happy holidays! ~amy


  5. Not getting a car is a gift in disguise, and I wish more young people realized this; I know so many teenagers (many of my friends from high school, as well as friends I met later in life) that got a car for one of their birthdays, only to find it a huge money sink. Many of them got jobs only to have all the money from the job go into the car. Factoring in the amount the parents spent on the car (and sometimes repairs), some of them even came out in the red.

    I delayed my purchase of a car until I was age 28…and my bank account thanks me daily. Those years of walking, biking, public transit, and borrowing my parent’s old junker stationwagon were well worth it.

    Teenagers (and unfortunately, many parents) don’t often realize how the financial decisions you make early in life can compound.

    Save a thousand dollars at age 16…if it saves you on an 8% student loan (many of my friends have these), you come out about $4500 ahead at age 35. My parents explained to me how that all worked, and I immediately lost any desire to buy a car, and instead found two jobs within walking distance, and started putting stuff in the bank. I saved $10,000 before leaving for college.


    1. WOW, good for you. She works very hard and after graduating high school managed to save $4,000. I thought that was AMAZING. But then i was loaning her my car & paying for her gas & insurance. That is something she will not thank me for until she buys her own car. Thanks for your info! ~amy


  6. “Finally liking her red hair is a wonderful thing for a me to see.” That is truly wonderful. I took way too long to like mine. Your daughter can go far with her smarts and gorgeous looks.


    1. Oh, born a red head must be difficult because it stands so far apart from who that person is on the inside. My daughter is very shy, but had been complemented on her hair her whole life. But her red hair is not who she felt she was. Now that she knows who she is, she accepts her the red as a gift. Thank you for the wonderful compliments. ~amy


  7. For my birthday, I want red hair and small feet. Hannah can have my car if she would like to trade.

    (Also, we are having this same conversation over here, but the six-year-old version involves a long list of American Girl paraphernalia.)


    1. I think if it were possible, she would switch, depending on what car you drive. Thank you for making me laugh! Would this be a Rebecca I know? One that brings me Joy…?


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