Today is my oldest daughter's birthday. She is 13, the beginning of the magical teen years.
We are making a cake, an cheesy potato casserole and grilled ribs and artichokes for dinner. We are spending the day with friends and at home, and are enjoying our regular day off! I'm doing her chores for her today.
She is making her own chocolate cake too!
Emma is a delightful young woman, and I am very much looking forward to the teen years. She still likes to hang out and chat with me, cook together, and talk about religion and politics. I challenge her not to make assumptions out of the black and white place of adolescence, and to think and write critically, and she tolerates me and tries hard.
She loves little kids and is a fabulous babysitter. She is thoughtful an empathic and tends to stand up for the underdog. She's an unabashed Obama supporter and is not refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance now that President Bush is out of office.
She's excited to start community college next year and wants to be a cardiac surgeon. She's a little geeky (on purpose) and pretty and smart and I feel like the luckiest mom in the world to have these four wonderful souls in my life.
She was my hardest birth - 25.5 hours of labor and she was the smallest of them all at 5 1/2 lbs. Her online icon is now "I'm not short, I'm just unusually not tall." Like her mom, she's a big personality in a small package, and is kinder and less edgy than me. Her dad always said that she was me with tools (the tools I didn't get as a child). She used to say she wanted to build a house in the backyard so she could wave into my kitchen window from her kitchen window. She's expanded her horizons a bit now, but still wants to stay close to home. She likes an adventure, but likes to come home again at the end of it.
She's not afraid to stand up for herself, but she's kind in the way she does it.
My son said today, "I can't wait for my 5th birthday!" I jokingly told him that then I could send him to school. He replied, "No, five is still very little!" And he's right. He's still little, and especially so compared to Emma.
I love 13. I love the teen years, and I'm excited to share the rest of them with her (and the rest of the kids as they come through them).