It’s official. My child has reached an age that I distinctly remember. It’s kind of cool and kind of scary all at the same time. I remember so clearly how I felt on the morning that we drove to the hospital to have my oldest daughter. I remember how it felt to hold her, my tiny, beautiful, oh-so-perfect Christmas present. I remember snuggling with her on the floor in the afternoon sunshine because she had just a touch of jaundice and the doctor recommended getting her in sunlight when possible. I remember singing to her and doing crafts with her and getting dizzy watching her play on the sit-n-spin.
Now she’s as tall as me (soon to be taller) with far longer arms and legs as she likes to point out. And in a year I’ll be figuring out driver’s education. And in far less time than I’ve had her with me, I’ll be saying goodbye as she heads off to college and the life she will forge for herself.
See?? Cool and scary.
This year I took my oldest out of school for the day so she could hold her cousin on the day he was born – because holding a child on the day he is born is a rare opportunity to be treasured. I learned how to manage the high school drop-off process because that’s where she starts her school day now. I watched her dress up like a Spice Girl for Halloween even though she and her friends had barely an inkling of who the Spice Girls are.
My oldest moved into her own room this year and shocked us all by picking a pink color for one of the walls (coral to be specific). She spends a lot of time in that room – as befits a teenage girl – and most of it appears to be spent chatting with friends, on Facetime with friends or catching up with friends on Facebook. Do you see a trend there? Friends rule the world when you are 14 – luckily she has a great group of friends. They are even willing to wake up at 8:30am during their winter break to surprise her for breakfast.
K added seven states to her list of places visited this year with trips to Mississippi in the spring and our great Western adventure this summer. On that long road trip she admittedly spent a lot of time with earphones firmly in place snoozing away but she was all-in for the adventures we took. She hiked and rock climbed and exclaimed in delight. She freaked out a bit at the number of restaurants out West that have mounted animals as decoration. She put her feet in a glacier-fed lake, threw rocks into canyons and scrambled up trails on countless hikes. Her favorite park on that trip was the Badlands because she loved the freedom of being able to climb on anything she could reach.
She ran a couple 5K races this year – one with me by her side where her long legs blew me away at the finish. She cut times in every single swim meet for over a year. She spent another week at summer camp, loving every minute. And she was voted “Most Outgoing Female” in her 8th grade class.
She remains my most observant child. She looks before she leaps… but when she leaps, she does so with gusto. I am so proud of how she is relating to her faith, to her friends and to her studies. I like talking to her as an adult far more than I enjoy nagging her about doing her laundry – though I seem to do both in equal measure. I treasure the days when she comes home from school and talks my ear off. And I am excited about the potential that is right in front of her.
These are a few of her favorite things:
color: that Tiffany blue… not to sound all spoiled, I don’t have a box from Tiffany but I like that color. I also like gold and grey.
food: cereal (editor’s note: agreed, she eats a bowl every night after practice and often for an afternoon snack or even lunch on the weekends. Cereal isn’t just a breakfast food in her book.)
vegetable: broccoli but only when you cook it crisp, not soggy – that’s gross
dessert: ice cream or frozen yogurt
part of school: lunch, because I like talking to all my friends
thing to do: I like watching movies. I really liked Avengers. Mean Girls makes me laugh.
tv show: Gossip Girls or the Kardashians
song: ugh – only one?!? I’ll say… The Man Who Can’t Be Moved by The Script
book: The Hunger Games triology
restaurant: Lynn’s Paradise Cafe in Louisville
What did you request for your birthday dinner?
I had two birthday dinners this year. One with bacon cheeseburgers and a Dairy Queen ice cream cake – cookie dough flavor. And the other with homemade mac & cheese and cheesecake for dessert.
What is something that can always make you smile?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be some sort of accountant but one that travels. I don’t want to sit in the corner all day, I want to see things and meet people.
If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
I would go to Disney World or to Australia where I could learn how to surf.
What do you love about each person in our family?
I like to mess around with Dad. I like to talk with you (Mom). I like to listen to music with E. And with J… I like to play with him.
What were some of your best memories from this past year?
The road trip. Virginia Beach. Going to the fair. Doing well in swimming. Making more friends. And hanging out with my friends and family.
What are some of your wishes for this year?
I want to do even better in swimming. I want to make Varsity swimming next year, my Freshman season. I want to make Honors Bio and Honors English next year too. I want to do well on my finals. I want to have fun this summer and hang out with my friends more than just lay around the house.
Each year I interview my children on their birthdays and write a post about their year. My hope is that someday these musings will spark special memories. Search for ‘birthday interview’ over there on the right to read previous posts.