My oldest daughter turned 12 today.
I respect her and trust her and wish, on a daily basis, that I were the quality human being she 1) thinks I am and 2) she deserves as a mother. Most of the time when I work on cleaning up my act, I do so with M1 in mind.
M1 invited me to have lunch with her at her school today. I accepted and took lunch from our favorite market. Lunch in school is super quick these days so we had to eat and talk and all that without wasting a ton of time.
Most twelve-year-olds would probably tell their parents to get bent if the parent wanted to come sit with them at lunch in front of all their friends to have lunch...even on their birthday.
It does not surprise me in the least that M1 was okay with it and even offered the invitation. Even if I were the most hideous creature on the planet, M1 would still sincerely want to have lunch with me and would tell other kids to mind their own business if they had anything to say about her hideous mother.
In speaking with M1 at lunch, I said, "What a twelve years this has been. We have been through a lot together, you and me."
She replied, "Don't you think, Mom, that from this summer to now it feels like we've been through more in that time than all twelve years put together?"
She's wise beyond her years.
I am doing my best to make this burden that has been our daily life since summertime feel less like a burden. I don't want her to fret about her dad's eye, her parents' bank accounts, when she'll finally have a cell phone and whether or not her new sister will ever be okay. It's too much. It's too much for me as a grown woman, especially given that many of the things impacting M1 are somehow of my doing. I don't think a 12-year-old kid should have to concern herself with such craziness.
Chubby-cheeked (and kneed and elbowed and chub-a-dub-dub all over!).
Full of sunshine.
This is one of my favorite photos of all time. Two of my favorite beings in the world. Neither one can talk with words, but they are saying so much to each other. Oscar was not all that crazy about M1 when she arrived. He didn't look at me or "speak" to me for days. But she could win anyone over...even an obstinate "only child." I like to think it was her diplomacy. It was more than likely the dropped Cheerios. Either way, these two ended up being very close buddies.
My fondest wish is that M1 will remain true to herself and not be influenced by things around her that are not worthy of her time and attention.
Happy Birthday, M1. Mommy loves you.