The baby of the fam turned 15 this week. It's all downhill from here ... For me: the driver's permit is only a blink away, and the ultimate parental dread, dating, is looming in the shadows. For her: Dickens' dreaded Great Expectations is a blink away in English lit, and the driver's permit is still an eternity away.
Did I really give birth to this child? I mean, how does a chid of mine not embrace Pip and Estella and Miss Havisham? How does a daughter of mine not love pastels but gravitate toward jewel/earthtones and every hue of gray each time we shop? I'm not kidding; this child pulls gray from the rack every single time. I've been trying to expand her palette by claiming that lavender is the new gray. She's not buying it. Literally. At this rate, she may be the first bride to wear gray.
Maybe she likes gray so much because in early childhood, she was forced to wear dance costumes such as these.
Anyway, she loves her siblings. She doesn't come out and say it often because that's not cool. But I read between the lines when she talks about what her sister is doing or would think of something. I read between the lines when her brother is home from school and she puts on his jacket and walks to a mirror to see herself. In the picture below outside IHOP, note whose hand she's holding. She didn't ask for a party, but she wanted to be with her sister and brother.
After she opened her gifts yesterday morning (clothes, makeup and an i Tunes card) we met the other two in their college town and had breakfast, her favorite meal, at IHOP. We had a great time together, laughing through the whole meal. I took a couple of pics to remember it by, because I know 25 or 30 years from now, she will not remember turning 15. Later, she went with the youth group to a hayride/bonfire.
I've been joking around about her, but you do know, I mean, it's obvious, isn't it, that my love for her rolls through and over me like ocean waves. She has no clue how much I love her. She has no clue that when I pick her up from school and we're riding home talking about the day, I am so overwhelmed by love that it's hard not to reach out and stroke her arm and smile goofily and tell her how much I love her. Sometimes I do, but I can't do that every time I feel it. If I did, she would look like her much-loved, worn-out Pat the Bunny book at the end of each day!
Kristin, if you read this 25 or 30 years from now and can't remember actually turning 15, just remember that you were very loved by your family and that you are the silver lining to my everyday gray clouds. Happy Birthday!