When you’re 13, the last thing you want to hear is that you’re “just like your mother.” So, I won’t say it.
I won’t tell you that people say you look like me or that they “know” where you got your sassiness.
I won’t tell you how much I enjoy other people staring at us when we’re rocking out to Maroon 5 in my car. I won’t tell you that seeing you swish a 3-pointer makes my eyes burn with tears – because I know how many hours of practice it took for you to make that shot.
I won’t tell you that I love it when people tell me that you’re beautiful – from the inside out. I won’t tell you that even though you’re strong and independent, I love it when you need me. The best part of my day is sitting on your bed and listening to you talk about your day.
I know I’m old to you, but I remember being 13. I remember not wanting to be compared to my mom. (Mom, once again, I apologize.) I remember trying to sort out friends and feelings – the real ones from the superficial ones. I remember the frustration of being independent on the inside and dependent on the outside.
Here's a short list of things everyone should know about My Girl:
• She has an infectious laugh. I dare anyone not to laugh with her!
• She is determined and works hard at everything.
• She is very feminine.
• She is insightful.
• She sometimes chooses to wear makeup but looks amazing without it.
• She loves music.
• Her family still calls her by the nickname her brother gave her years ago.
• She can fall asleep anywhere – under any circumstances. This gift is not affected by lighting conditions, weather, noise or objects.
• She is NOT a morning person.
• She got a correct answer on a Spanish test because of a word in a Lady Gaga song.
• When she was a toddler, she wore a pink tutu over her clothes everywhere she went. (Believe me, this one was not worth the battle.)
• She is a cat whisperer.
• Her big brother is one of her closest friends.
• She considers fried okra, bacon and cheese a balanced meal.
• She can make friends with people of all ages – and has done so.
You were born with words on your fingertips. When you were 10 years old, you typed a note for me. I keep it on the bulletin board above my desk at work:
“Why I love my Mom,
1. She feeds me; she takes to places and activities.
2. She cares for me and is sweet and kind and she reads to me at night; she takes me on trips to Dallas or Arkansas or somewhere.
3. She protects me and gets me things and buys me clothes and punishes me when I need to be.
4. And more stuff than you can imagine is what she does and will do to me.
5. I LLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEE (LOVE) YOU MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! More than a million!
Words I wrote on your fourth birthday: “You speak plainly and have something to say about just about everything. You light up our lives with your mischievous smile and big, bright blue eyes.”
You and I agree that you’re not “just like” anyone. You need to know ... when I first saw your precious face on June 21 just 13 years ago, I couldn’t even imagine the day you would become a teenager.
I’m not the least bit ready for this.