It was spring of 1994. I was 12, and my cousin had just given birth to her daughter, Sydney. YES. I LOVE BABIES.
These are the things I told myself at 12-years-old. A baby in the family meant something to look at during family gatherings. A baby meant babysitting, which meant money. Disposable income was hard to come by as a 'tween.
Most importantly, a baby meant I was no longer the youngest. Take that.
I babysat Sydney when she was less than a week old. Changed her diapers. Watched her scream. Fed her bottles. I know of a certain mole on her body that'd make her blush to mention.
I spent my teenage years babysitting Sydney. Racking up multitudes of stories to one day tell her high school boyfriends. Except I think she already has boyfriends. I'm going to go ahead and save that mole story until she's at least legal, however.
Sydney is 13 now. She wears make-up, and she's more skilled at applying said make-up than I am at 25. She's got boobs. Dyes her hair. She has a MySpace account and has mastered the art of text messaging on her Sidekick. At Christmas she sits alone on the couch, iPod in one hand, cell phone in the other and earbuds in her ears.
Ah, to be 13 again.
But I discovered something new about her recently - impeccable music taste. Seeing as though she's now a teenager and can carry on adult conversations, as opposed to crying and pooping her pants, I enjoy catching up with her to learn what's new with 13-year-olds.
I'm not sure if I'm surprised or frightened to learn that the social life of an eighth-grader is highly similar to my own.
Regardless, we got on the topic of music pretty quickly, which wasn't hard since I love it, she had her iPod and her wardrobe reminded me of an emo music video.
Turns out, we're related.
Within minutes we were both squealing over paramore, comparing our she-crushes on Hayley Williams and gushing over Pete Wentz. (What? There may be 12 years between us, but we share a passion for men in eyeliner). She loves My Chemical Romance, more importantly, Gerard Way, and Bryce Avary of The Rocket Summer autographed her Sidekick.
OMG a 13-year-old is my new best friend!
At the end of January I'm taking her to a concert. Cobra Starship. It's a band I'd never heard of, but it's one of Sydney's favorites. Given our musical track record, I'm sure I'll love it.
But what's most mind-blowing is that I'm taking her to a concert. The same child who used to cry at bedtime and whose presence introduced me to the Diaper Genie.
I'm highly excited for her emergence into adulthood. Because I totally need another female around here to gush with me over emo rock bands. It's also nice that I no longer have to change her diaper.