June 21, 2020

Happy Father’s Day! At the Bodenbach house today is a double celebration. It’s also our youngest daughter Molly’s birthday. She turns 21 years old today. None of us are quite sure how that happened. We kind of still think of her as being an 8 year old. Funny thing about kids, they have a way of growing up without you really noticing. I still don’t think I am old enough to have children in high school so I’m not sure how they all managed to graduate from high school and turn into something that is starting to resemble adults. I’m definitely not old enough for that!!

Molly, as you may have already realized, is our Father’s Day baby. We also have a Christmas baby and a Mother’s Day baby. It can make the months of May, June, and December a lot more fun and a bit more hectic.

Being the third and final child along with being the third daughter, Molly was babied a bit. She was, however, a remarkably good baby, except for the fact that she refused to keep her socks on. I finally just started painting her tiny toe nails when she was about six months old so people would think that she wasn’t wearing socks on purpose.

Part of the reason Molly was such a good baby was because she sucked her thumb. We never had to worry about losing her pacifier. She was content to sit in her pumpkin seat for hours and just watch the world go by. She would just pop that thumb in and be happy as a clam, or pop it in off to sleep she’d go. Of course, all of my babies were good sleepers right from day one…that’s because God knew I probably wouldn’t do well with the other kind. This woman needs her sleep!

Molly seemed to skip right over baby food and baby toys and go straight to barbie dolls and pizza. Well, the pizza is my fault really. I mean when you have 3 little ones, the baby just eats what everyone else eats. Hey, she lived! When Molly was born, Hannah was 3 1/2 and Sophie was 2. Sometimes when I was trying to make dinner I would plop Hannah in the recliner with Molly on her lap and tell her to give Molly her bottle while I made dinner. Looking back, having a 4 year old feed your 6 month old doesn’t necessarily seem like the best choice, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. And hey, she lived!

When the girls got old enough to stay home by themselves in the summer while their parents worked, Hannah would take off down the block and leave Sophie to take care of Molly. Sophie always took good care of her. She made sure Molly got fed and she usually took her to the pool after lunch. So Molly never really had to learn to fend for herself much.

I tried to teach all of my girls to cook and clean and to do their own laundry. But Molly never really learned to cook. First of all, she had no interest. But then being the baby she was always able to get some one to feed her. Even when she moved out of our house, she moved in with her sister Sophie, and Sophie continued to make sure the kid got fed.

So, imagine my surprise when Molly recently started talking about cooking, asking me for recipes and guidance, and even finding her own recipes online. Well, it seems that it may be all because there is this boy that she kind of likes….actually she seems to like him a lot. After a year and a half of dating she still isn’t tired of him. It’s the oddest thing really.

People tell you stories when you are about to become a parent or when you are in the middle of parenting. Women seem to go out of their way to tell you their awful, scary birth stories. Why do they do that? Thankfully, I had a friend who had amazing birth experiences and she made it a point to tell me stories too. So, I just decided I was going to do it the way my friend had–short and easy.

People also tell you about the terrible toddler years and the terrible teenage years. But, while the toddler years were challenging, the teenage years at our house were pretty amazing. I mean, it’s not that my darling daughters are perfect. And they certainly don’t have perfect parents. (You may have already noticed that in the paragraphs above.) We had our fair share of parent/daughter conflicts. But somehow, even given our very best attempts to ruin them, by the grace of God our daughters turned out pretty well. They were always well grounded and level headed somehow.

The teenage years are pretty cool because it’s when you start to see your children turn into real people with their own thoughts and ideas. You can begin to have conversations with them about lots of different things. Seriously, why doesn’t anyone warn you about that? It sort of caught me off guard and I would have these “Woah! What is happening here?” moments. I kinda loved being the mom of teenagers.

But now, to top it all off, she can cook! Be still my heart! It makes me so proud! It is really cool that because of this time in history that we live in, she can actually FaceTime me and we can kinda cook together, or at least I can advise her in real time. It’s so much fun! I also love that she wants my help. ♥️

Then suddenly they are adults (well at least according to the world’s rules they are adults)…and they are actually adulting…and they are even pretty good at it some times. Molly, who, at times, wouldn’t even talk to her best friend on the phone (texts only!) was suddenly making her own doctor’s appointments and ordering her own food at restaurants. Absolutely mind blowing!

The worst part about having your kids turn into adults is that they don’t have to do what you say any longer. You can’t ground them or take away their cell phone when they sass you. You also can’t make their choices for them. That’s really hard sometimes. No one really warns you of that! Sometimes 20 year olds could really use a time out.

We tease Molly a lot. Molly gets called a lot of things—Molly Magoo, Molly Monster, my Mini Me and my Mini Monster! But that’s just because we all love her a lot.

In the Bodenbach home, teasing = love. If we are too nice to you, it might mean we don’t like you much. Just sayin.

Molly is beautiful and sassy and smart and compassionate. She has awesome tattoos! I have no idea why exactly but I’m pretty sure that she is going to end up being the daughter who has a bunch of kids and only feeds them organic, homemade baby food and other weird stuff like that. I also think that she is going to be an awesome public speaker some day, although the idea of that would put the fear of God in her right now.

So, HaPpY HaPpY Birthday Molly!! We love you to the moon and back! We are so proud of the young woman you are becoming and we can’t wait to see where God is going to lead you. No matter where it is, we will be here, cheering you on!

P.S. Molly, I made you Grandma’s chocolate angel food cake with Sharla’s chocolate icing recipe, and I made you frozen custard. Plus, we are having Alplermagronen for dinner….I really need to tell everyone about the Bodenbach Alplermagronen, but I will have to leave that for another post. Stay tuned for that!

NOTE: You do have to share with Barry Todd (aka Dad) because after all it is Father’s Day too.

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