She’s turning 15.  It hit me hard the other day… my baby is turning 15!

The memories have taken me by surprise in the last week or so and then it dawned on me that 15 is the 1st age one of my kids has turned that I remember. I remember 15! It’s like it was yesterday and more than likely I remember it so well because it was the year we moved from Eugene, Oregon to Coronado, California.

I was heading into my sophomore year of high school and the decision was made to move away and begin again. It was both brutal and amazing at the same time. Brutal because Eugene was all I had ever known and due to my propensity towards over emotion my parents decided the best plan was to have family friends pick me up from Summer Camp in northern CA. The camp was great. Getting the call that I would not be going home to say goodbye to all my friends… not so much. My parents picked me up on their way down and away we went. I had to say goodbye to 15 years worth of friends via the telephone.

Tiffany - Age 15 1985 / TiffanyAOlson.com

1985 – 15 years old

The amazing part? We moved to Coronado, CA. For those of you who don’t know, Coronado is a peninsula across the bay from downtown San Diego. 73 degrees and mostly sunny year round. Coming from rainy Oregon, this did not take me long to get used to. It took a while but about 8 months in I had found my people. It’s been 33 years since I was 15. My people? Still with me. We live all over the country now but we walk through this life together, births, deaths, illness, laughter, love, and memories. Some of our lives were already hard in high school, the rest of us caught up later.

15! How can she be 15? I am not ready! Fortunately, our personalities are polar opposite and she is not desperately insecure like I was. She does not feel the need to go to extremes to fit in as I did. She can stand alone and hold her ground for what she believes where I wavered so I would feel accepted.

Back then I was excessively extroverted. The thought of spending even two seconds alone was horrifying. With time and age, I have mellowed and have learned to enjoy and sometimes even crave time alone. But only for a few hours or so, any more than that and I begin to get restless. Natalie, (my baby girl) on the other hand is an introvert. Alone time is what she craves most. In social settings, she’s quiet, observant and misses almost nothing. She sees and hears more than I do because I rarely hear anything above the sound of my own voice chit chattering away. I’m not worried about her getting older as she is so much more level-headed than I was. It just feels weird that she is at an age that I have so many memories of.

Heading to SD / TifffanyAOlson.com


We watched The Breakfast Club together the other night. The Breakfast Club! 1985 – I was 15 when this movie came out. I did find myself singing Jingle Bells very loudly during a few scenes as there was some content I had forgotten about in the last 33 years and I was not quite ready to have her hear that stuff in my presence. The truth though? I still loved it. I still related to it. It took me back all those years ago to the jock, the princess, the crazy, the nerd and the criminal. Natalie is just beginning her freshman year so I am not sure the movie resonated with her now as much as it will in a year or so. The characters haven’t changed all that much over the years. The biggest difference is that the illegal marijuana they are all smoking in the movie is now legal (at least in Oregon) and readily available on almost every street corner in our little town. But I digress.

When I look ahead I realize that I am excited to watch how her life unfolds. We are so different and it will be interesting to see how she handles the difficulties that come her way. I am hoping that since she tends to operate from a foundation of security that her decisions will reflect her stability. When she does fail, my prayer is that she kicks the dust off quickly and moves on. At 15 a whole new world is beginning to open up for her and she doesn’t even realize it yet. In a few weeks, she will get her drivers permit. It’s all going so fast. I feel that same brutal but amazing feeling I had back then. It’s brutal to allow her to spread her wings a bit but oh so amazing to begin to watch her fly.

The only thing I didn’t do before I got married was travel abroad. Nat and I have been dreaming about ways to get her out into the world and experience some stuff. I want her to see it all, the beauty and the pain. I want her to know that the world is so much bigger than what she has seen up to this point. None of it will be easy but it’s guaranteed to be amazing. On a completely selfish note, I hope she eventually settles in a place where I can live near because as much as I want her to fly, I desperately want to be there when she comes home. 15. She’s not a little girl anymore but she will always be my baby.

Nat 2 Weeks Old / TiffanyAOlson.com

2003 – 2 Weeks Old


Have a Beautiful Day My Friends!



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  1. Riley Conn says

    Great letter and what a great Mom.

  2. That picture from Lisa Michelle Photography —-wow! Gorgeous 🙂

  3. Well there you go again….painting a epic landscape of beauty with your words!! THANK YOU! Nat is such an amazing girl! OH the places she will go! With her amazing family standing with her as you follow JESUS together…the world will definitely is better place because of her!!!

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