CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I realized the teen years had arrived a few weeks ahead of schedule when my running home during lunch hour caused Celeste to complain about being awakened early.
It was barely past the crack of noon. Heavens! What was I thinking?
Judging by her reaction, I halfway expected Child Protective Services would be paying a call, considering my cruel and thoughtless behavior.
Although Celeste doesn't officially turn 13 until the end of the month -- trust me. The teens have arrived.
Household food consumption is up, as is the water bill. Eye rolling has hit a new high, along with the sighs and grunts of exasperation that apparently have replaced certain words.
Still, she remains good humored, good natured and tolerant of her parents, so the metamorphosis is apparently far from complete.
It's the sleep part I'm finding most fascinating, especially when I remember the early years as a parent when I would've happily traded an appendage or two for a few more hours of sleep.
As I shook her awake one recent morning (after first clearing off the cobwebs and dust), she grumbled, "If I was supposed to pop out of bed, I'd sleep in a toaster."