Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Am Not a Teenager

Hello Internet world. This is Emily, Dorcas Smucker's middle child, hijacking her mother's blog in order to set the record straight on one important(ish) matter.

While reading the comments on this blog and on my mother's posts on Facebook, I frequently hear myself and my siblings collectively referred to as "teenagers."

Technically, we only have two teenagers in this house. Steven, who will turn 19 in a week, and Jenny, who is 14.

However, Steven is an adult who has finished high school and is making his own life decisions. That makes Jenny the only one still in the "teenager" stage of life. The other five of us are college age or older.

Of course it's not that big of a deal to be misperceived as a teenager when it's only been four years since I was one. But the shift between being a child under parental authority and being a functioning adult is one of the most significant changes a modern youth goes through, and it is slightly irritating to be constantly placed on the other side of that divide.

To set the record straight, let me briefly summarize the differences between 18-year-old Emily and 23-year-old Emily.

When I was eighteen, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had never lived away from my parents. I could drive, but I was uncomfortable behind the wheel. I knew virtually no one outside of my small Mennonite community. I was scared to do "grown up" things like go to the bank and apply for a job.

Now, at 23, I have picked a career goal and am working toward it. Though I currently live with my parents, I've lived away from home quite a bit, and amassed a vast circle of diverse acquaintances. (And by diverse, I mean that one of them ended up being an accomplice to a murder and had to flee the country.) I know who I am and where I am headed in life, unlike the 18-year-old who didn't have a clue.

The sad truth is, this blog is no longer a blog about a houseful of teenagers. It's a blog about a houseful of 20-somethings with one teenager thrown in the mix.

At this stage of live, instead of spouting phrases like "you're grounded!" and "what time are you going to be home?", the author of this blog is more likely to say, "Oh! He's a single man of great fortune, Emily. He MUST be in want of a wife."


  1. Guilty.
    That said, now step into my shoes. I'm 50-something now, same age as your mom. That 4 years that is nearly a sixth of your life, is less than a 12th of mine. That means it has flown by more than twice as fast for me as it has for you. I still see my 29-year-old simultaneously as an infant, a toddler, a pre-teen, a teen, a newlywed, and the woman she is today. I can't separate it. It's all part of the same package. And I'll wager every mother has the same issue.
    Those of us who read this blog have watched you all grow up, and to us, you are all every age your mom ever wrote about. It's all the same package. I have a hunch God sees us all in a similar way....
    So try to understand when we forget how old you are today, we have a lot of yesterdays mixed in there!!

  2. It's nice to hear from Emily! and although your mom may need to update her blog bio, those of us who regularly read this blog KNOW you have grown up. In fact, until you just wrote that you didn't drive much I didn't know that about you, but I only followed your blog for a very few years

  3. Congratulations, Emily. You seem to have discovered the fountain of eternal youth: a mother who blogs.

    The real mark of maturity in my mind is that you were able to hijack her blog without putting in a single plug for your own. No teenager would ever be capable...