Anika turned 15 this week, and it is fascinating. I’m seeing her grow up and figure out who she is right before my very eyes. Everything I’ve learned about her from the day she was born is all coming together in this girl who is almost an adult, and it is an interesting, exciting, hard, beautiful process to watch.
You guys, being/having a teenager is no joke. I remember the struggle at 15. It’s such a strange time of wanting to grow up, and yet not always feeling ready to. I watch Anika teetering on the brink of that, and I never know when to jump in to help, or when to quietly step back and wait while she figures things out on her own.
I’m trying to get better at the quietly stepping back thing, and as I work at it, she keeps surprising me, because she’s got a good head on her shoulders, and she contually comes up with thoughts and observations that seem beyond her years, because she’s smart, thoughtful, witty, and able to cut through a lot of mess and confusion in a straightforward, honest, no nonsense kind of way.
As a little girl, she was always cheerful, easy to reason with, calm, and very advanced in her vocabulary and conversational skills. It kinda made her a dream to parent. As she gets older, I find it so interesting to see how her childhood characteristics translate into the older version of Anika. Back then, we didn’t know who she would become, but now we can look back and see the beginnings of who she is now.
She’s still easy to reason with, because she can understand the wisdom in something, or get the thought process behind it, even if she doesn’t completely agree with it.
That advanced vocabulary has become a passion for reading and writing anything fantasy related.
Her hours of listening to Veggie Tales cd’s and singing into the window crank handle as her pretend microphone has turned into dreams of singing on Broadway.
And she still stays pretty calm, for the most part, because she doesn’t see the point in getting all emotional about everything.
She’s responsible, self-motivated, and aware of herself and what she needs in a beautiful way.
She still swings for hours a day, always smiling to herself as she dreams her dreams, and cooks up new ideas for the latest book she’s writing.
She’s gone through some tough stretches, as all teenagers do, but it has been amazing to watch her find her way through. She processes things carefully, and always comes out the other end, stronger for having gone through it.
It makes me very curious about what is coming in her future – what she will create, what she’ll accomplish, all God has in store for her, and who she’ll continue to become.
She has always been one of the greatest gifts in my life, and she continues to take me down interesting, unexpected paths as I learn how to mother her – to be there for her, staying available, but more and more from the sidelines.
Fifteen beautiful years with her. I like right now – making breakfast together, timing ourselves to see how fast we can empty the dishwasher, watching “Heartland” together, figuring our way through grade 10 math together, talks when she gets home from somewhere about everything that happened, the last minute makeup checks before she goes out the door even though she knows far more about makeup than I do and it’s really just a chance for me to admire how she looks, the books we’re reading together. I have huge lump in my throat as I write this, because I know three years will go by in the blink of an eye, and she has big plans for college. I know I can’t slow down time, but I can squeeze lots of enjoyment from the simple, everyday moments right now.
I love this girl so much! Happy, happy birthday, Anika!