Tuesday, April 9, 2013

love this girl...

I wish someone would get down to the bottom of this time flying by thing and just get it to slow the hell down. My baby girl had a birthday yesterday...she turned 16. Sixteen!!! It sure as heck seems like it was a year or so ago that I was going batshit crazy on bedrest waiting for her to arrive. But obviously that's not the case.

It's hard to put into words how incredibly lucky I feel to be a part of this young lady's life. She's such an easy person to love. Mommy bias? Oh sure, there's probably some of that mixed in with my feelings, but I by no means think that's all there is to it.

Annie has a beautiful heart, accepts people as they are, and despises injustice and intolerance wherever they pop up. She's intelligent and hard-working. Well, at least most of the time. She's willing to help when called upon, at home and elsewhere. She's volunteered at the library for 3 1/2 years, and she now helps out with the kids' aikido class each Saturday morning. While she loves books and clothes and music, she's always understood that we don't have a lot of money...she's never once complained that all her clothes come from thrift stores (or the occasional gift from someone). Of course, she can rock a thrift store like no one I've ever met. And the library is her forever friend for books and music. She is always kind to others (well, there is the occasional exception when it comes to her brother Gray).  She has a gift for writing, seems to have a natural knack for the flute (though she seldom puts it to use any more), and has a beautiful voice. Her razor sharp wit makes me smile on a daily basis.

Thing is, life isn't always easy for her. I can only imagine how hard it must be sometimes to be the odd duck who is homeschooled. While she always seemed to manage with aplomb taking college classes from such a young age (she took her first at age 11), I'm sure she had moments of panic and fear and loneliness. And while life as a lesbian teen is easier today than in years past, let's face it, it's by no means without its very real challenges. Add anxiety and OCD to the mix, and yeah, it's easy to see that this beautiful young woman does not have life handed to her on a silver platter. And yet, every. single. day. she makes me proud to know her, grateful to be a part of her life, and humbled to be her mom.

Annie, I love you more than you'll ever know. And while Dad and I teased you that "sweet 16" meant you had to be sweet for the whole year, what I really hope is that age 16 is full of sweetness for you.


Jean said...

Happy birthday to Annie!!! I hope your sentiments for a sweet 17th year (yeah, turning 16 means she's in her 17th year) come true. And if she were always sweetness and nice to her two siblings, I'd worry something was up.

Trish said...

A beautiful post for a beautiful girl. Happy sweet 16th birthday! I can still remember the first time I learned of Annie in the blogosphere (was it before I even knew you, Debi??) and it has been fun to watch her grow throughout the years. Teenaged years are tough under any circumstances--how blessed she is to have a mom like you.

Eva said...

Happy birthday Annie, from one April baby to another!!! :DDD

Ali said...

What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful daughter! I hope Annie has a wonderful day and a fabulous year.

Debi said...

I'll pass along your happy wishes. And yeah, I think you've got a point there. :P

Oh I seriously don't know that she's lucky to have me as a Mom. But I'm definitely lucky to have her as a daughter. :)

I love that your birthdays are so close together. And then my Mom's is just a few more days after yours. Lots of lovely ladies with April birthdays. :D

Thank you. And I shall tell her you what you said. :)

Heather said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANNIE!!!!! From one odd duck to another. :)

Beautiful post Debi. God knew what he was doing when he put you two together. Aww, I gonna cry.

DesLily said...

oh my...16 eh? If you find a way to slow down time let me know IMMEDIATELY and then bottle it and sell it!! You will be filthy rich!
It looks like Annie had a great Birthday!

The fact that clothes are gotten at thrift stores (just got some there myself!) you do so much as a family that I'm sure no one feels "poor"..because they are very rich with love and family!! Annie is a lucky lady..and I think she knows it. :o)

Happy belated Birthday Annie!!!

Ana @ things mean a lot said...

Aww. It feels like only yesterday that she was "Annie, age 10" :~)

Happy Birthday, Annie! Watching you grow up from afar has been a pleasure :D

Chris Howard said...

I already told you in an email, but this post touched me so much! Happy birthday beautiful Annie!!

Susan said...

I'm trying not to cry reading this post. What a lovely post for your beautiful daughter, Debi. Happy birthday to her, and to you and Rich: congratulations on raising a beautiful, generous girl. All the things she is make her interesting, and original. The best, in my view.

Can't believe she is 16, either.