It seems I was just filling a closet with little pink dresses in preparation for the birth of our daughter, but the calendar shows that in a few months, she will turn 13. As I’ve written – probably too many times this past year – I am in awe of her. As we stand on the precipice of her teen years, I once again wish I could have been half the person she is when I was growing up. I fear she will need me little over the next five years, but knowing how girls are, also fear the trajectory she has been on could possibly go completely sideways.
She’s a bold girl. She not only knows what she wants, she lets it be known, and then she goes after it. At school, they have to apply for certain clubs, classes, organizations, duties (teacher’s aide, office aide). There were three things she was interested in…Associated Student Body (ASB), Peer Leadership Uniting Students (PLUS), and an advanced art class. She filled out applications, gathered teacher recommendations, and, for ASB and PLUS, went through an interview process. On Wednesday, she was notified she had been accepted into PLUS. The comments from the teacher adviser were commending. On Thursday, she found out she was also accepted into ASB. As ASB was her first choice, that is what she will be doing next year. I met the adviser yesterday at school while volunteering for the 6th grade Greek Olympics. She was so nice, congratulatory, and had so many good things to say about my little girl. I’m sure I was stammering and blushing with pride.
For I am SO proud of my little girl. She carries straight A’s. She dances four nights a week. She maintains friendships with distant friends and cousins. She stands up for others when they are being teased or treated unfairly.
In the back of my mind, I am terrified. All it takes is one bad friend, one bad boyfriend to turn this all around and make my daughter become someone I don’t know. She has dreams. She works very hard towards them. She is kind. She is ambitious. She is witty, and funny, and sweet. She’s tough. She is stubborn. She is determined. She’s an overachiever. But there is always that possibility she may throw that all away if the wrong person leads her down a different road.
My little girl is disappearing, becoming a teenager with thoughts she shares only with her friends. I am a spectator of her life. It is amazing to watch. She has her downfalls, truly she is not perfect. She’s beautiful though, in my eyes and in my heart. While I watch her grow and change, I carry the image in my mind of the pouting newborn, the fabulously chubby infant, the toddler with the blond curly hair, and the little ballerina just learning first position. She is reaching my height slowly but surely. She prays she will surpass me, soon. She’s on the verge, with her life in front of her. And I watch.