We were out walking by the Lake....the three of us.... holding hands. My 14 year old slipped hers out of mine. Huh? It's not cool, Ma. What if we bump into one of my friends? Ok. I said squeezing the hand of my nine year old. And Ma...you can't call me kidlet, zazoo or babe in public anymore.. Hmmm. ok babe. Mooommmmm!. Sorry. It slipped out. Hey Zazs.... Stop it Mom! I cracked up. I get it. You're cool. I'll be cool too. No holding hands. No babe. No cutsie names....but it's gonna be hard. My daughter flashed me a smile. A few minutes passed. I felt her arm lock into mine. I guess this is ok. She grinned. I don't know, I smiled at her. What if one of my friends see?
My daughter's growing up. There's a shift in her....a shift towards independence. She's 14...and wanting to be cool. Cool when I was 14 meant fighting to stay alive - on the streets...shooting dope....cutting myself...throwing up... My daughter doesn't have an eating disorder, doesn't hurt herself and has no intention of ever trying dope or even smoking. She has a paper route, a savings account and jumps in to help around the house with no one asking her to. And her friends are just like her - kind, fun, sweet.
I'm learning from her what 'normal' is...normal from the perspective of a kid who has only been shown acceptance and respect. I know I drive her crazy sometimes....waking her up early to go hiking through the hills, burning more meals than I could count, overprotective to a fault...ok...I can't help that...being too cautious in life....and too intense for my own good....
But I'm so grateful for the bond between the two of us...that closeness that tells me He loved me enough to give me a daughter like her.... a really 'cool' kid....and I've learned something....if you hold on long enough....and don't give up fighting to win...some pretty neat things come your way. My 14 year old is definitely one of them.