Belatedly Fourteen

Like an August Woman–your birthday has stretched and stretched this year.

We picked your birthday puppy over the course of two days the weekend before your birthday. The last weekend your brother was home before college.

You spent your actual birthday and weekend following at your father’s–where donuts appeared, friends were invited over on the Sunday following, and you had cake and marvelous things.

This past weekend there was your extraordinary nail polish case. You loved nail polish this year. You read nail polish blogs. Some days I need to air the living room in order to actually taste the food on the supper table. Then there was Eggs Benedict and pineapple upside down cake for official birthday dinner.

Still–after I picked you up for the weekend, you said “I looked on your blog on my birthday and my birthday post was missing.” I said I would write one. Yesterday I posted and you commented that you still didn’t have your birthday post. You are persistent and I am bemused that while I hope each of you reads your birthday posts–the actuality of you looking for them is a bit odd for me.

So here is your birthday post written almost on the eve of my own birthday.

Thirteen seems a rough year for girls. There’s a reason everyone in this house says “She’s a 13-year-old girl.” when stunned by quick change behavior and truly annoying behavior. You weren’t the exception. We may have weathered it a bit better this time, but I am glad you are fourteen now.

This was the year you talked so much about your taco truck/tree trimming service plans. I follow you into taco truck land because I sort of love living there with you. I daydream with you about your special tacos–extra charge for vegetarians, no avocado. I love the taco cat/taco dog thought process. And the tree trimming. It all sounds so real, like you will head out this week and set up shop. You mentioned you wanted to drive a garbage truck one day as well, not as a permanent career but just as something to get paid to do one day. (and you insisted that yes, you must be paid.) You also talk over various STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers you might pursue. I hope you continue to ponder those careers.

Your art is a blessing to us all. The paintings you made each of us for Christmas–perfect. I smile every night when I look at the one you made me hanging on the wall. The shadow box “bookshelf” on my desk you made for Mother’s Day is the same way. You’ve glued buttons from my collection like crazy onto everything. Some days your art takes over the living room. You wield that glue gun like a pro.

And then there is you. Just you. I don’t think anyone can make Denise laugh as easily. I don’t think I’ve ever run into anyone harder to persuade to take the right path or the path I would prefer they take. Part of that is I am trying not to laugh as well. You make me want to bang my head at the same time I know that the fact that you are a force to be reckoned with now means you will be an incredible adult.

On the other side of all that laughter–there’s sweet, soft, hugging girl. You still love to cuddle. I love that about you.

Your Facetime with friends makes me smile too. I watch as you wander around showing off the stockpile and Skeeter Bess.

Your tv viewing drives me nuts, but you know that. We’ve survived Bones, Raising Hope, Gossip Girl, Psych, and now Dr Who is underway. On the other hand, there is something sweet about seeing you in the living room, crafting, eating, and watching whatever series. Now you cuddle with the pup. Your very first not hand-me-down dog…even if she is a shared dog, even if you don’t want to share her with your sister.

So, thirteen has ended…as has middle school, your “broken butt,” and several tv shows. Fourteen is underway. High school begins all too soon, one week away. There’s something hard about the youngest youngest going to high school. Yes, it means we can chant four more years. But it also means you are just that much further away from teletubbies and never sleeping through the night. You aren’t the exact same girl who was thrilled with chips and cheese with Denise after preschool pick up. But in a way you ARE still those girls. But you are also a high school girl, a girl with a heart that seems like ice but melts like it too, you are a girl of brilliance and beauty. You will take high school by storm…but you know we love all of you, every single bit of you, at home. Every day. Always.

Happy belated birthday my little bit. You know your birthday isn’t over until I read you On the Day You Were Born.



  1. Your children need to stop growing. I can’t believe she’s in HIGH SCHOOL. OMG.

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