Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Life with a Tweenage Daughter

Em just finished my all-time favorite tween romance. Fifteen by Beverly Cleary. Since Salina Gomez got her all pumped about Ramona and Beezus again, she has been devouring all the Cleary books in the house.
I confess, when she reached for my old dog-eared copy, I discouraged her a little. "That's kind of a teenage book, Emmie. About a girl who wants a boyfriend." Well, duh, Mom. She was all over it. A few nights I even tiptoed in to read a chapter with her and it was pure pleasure.

Can I just say Beverly Cleary ROCKS?! I mean, this book was originally published in 1956. It was old-school when my mother read it. The dad smokes a pipe, for Pete's sake. The best friend wears a girdle. No one is texting or online. But the writing focuses on emotions and relationships that are timeless.
When she got to the last page, that climactic moment when Stan finally gives Jane his ID bracelet and a chaste 1956 kiss, Emmie's eyes were shiny.
My little girl is growing up. She is babysitting (a little) and on the phone with old and new friends (a lot). Her moods have always been less predictable than her brothers', but now that she's almost in the double-digits, I find I have to tiptoe even more carefully. Just yesterday, I was teasing her (a little too publicly, I guess) about something we'd always laughed about. But this time, she burst into tears. Yikes.
And that was just the school nurse on the phone, calling to say Em is in her office with a headache. She forgot her glasses. Again.
Time to go. Life with tweenagers is not all a Beverly Cleary romance, if you know what I mean.

13 comments:

Rochelleht said...

I loved that book. Jane is NOT into Beverly Cleary. I pushed Ramona too soon and it soured her. Boo on me.

Diane said...

Take heart. The tweens are short lived, and evolve into nice companionable daughter/friends. After a brief foray into teens, which we won't discuss. I had three tween daughters and am here to say they are now my best friends.

Fifteen by Beverly Cleary. Sigh. Now I'm going to go get my copy and sit and read it. I need it.

Jeanelle said...

FIFTEEN! Oh I loved that book so much. I had to go to Amazon to look up the other non-Ramona/Henry/Beezus titles because I totally forgot about them. How, I do not know because I read and reread them through high school, I think. Thanks for the little trip down memory lane and I'm so glad your girl is liking them too.

Annemarie said...

She is such a cute, cute girl!! That book is a classic. I can't wait to read it with my daughter. I CAN wait for the emotional rollercoaster, however.

Jenibelle said...

I love that book. Now I am going to go and find it at the Library! Em looks like a sweet 50's girl in the picture, I love the innocence, don't you?

Travelin'Oma said...

I read and re-read that book. The kiss . . . ah, never was a kiss so sweet. And Emmie's hair is adorable!!

Lauren in GA said...

I loved Beverly Cleary growing up. It almost made me teary that Em's eyes were shiny as she finished the book. She will always remember how you read pars of it with her.

Heidi said...

Why did I never read that book? I'm putting it on my tween list. I love your book lists for kids! Thanks so much for the review.

Christie said...

Ah, Beverly Cleary. Did you know you'd have such a profound effect for generations? LOVE her. Am currently pushing the Little House series on Hannah. Will add this to the list for later.

cindy said...

I'm a lurker on your blog but I just have to comment today. I was born in 1955, I loved Beverly Cleary. I had a copy of 'Fifteen' that I'm sure I read 20 times. What a magical book for a young teen. I think I will find a few copies for my granddaughters. Now they are content with Ralph S. Mouse. Cleary's writing is so real. We love her! Thanks for a fun blog.

Jessica said...

cute, cute, cute! Something so sweet (and so trepidatious) about having a tweenage girl, you know?

I'm going to suggest that book to MY Em!

polly said...

i understand the whole headache without glasses thing. i used to wear my glasses when i went to sleep for fear of getting a headache. my mom, your grama had one neurotic tween on her hands. i feel for both you and Emmie

calibosmom said...

Is he pulling on her "boing boing" curls? So cute! I have my own little Miss Preteen-let's try and get through this together. Strength in numbers!

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