Monday, August 8, 2011

XIV

   Today our youngest daughter is celebrating her FOURTEENTH birthday!  She is the sweetest, smilinest, song-singinest, hug-givinest girl you will ever meet, and I am just floored that another year has already passed. 

 Just for fun I would really groove on sharing some essential truths about this beautiful human being whom I am blessed enough to call Daughter.  Who is fourteen years old now.  Which hardly seems possible.  Because time flies.  It is slipping slipping slipping, into the future, right at this moment.

At an animal refuge in Tuttle,. OK, Februrary 2007

   Carrying her in pregnancy was easy and comfortable, and carrying her as an infant was just delicious.  She loved to cuddle then as much as she does now.

   She greatly prefers sour candy to chocolate and delights in challenging family members to see how much sour they can tolerate.

   Given a choice, she'll always pick bowtie pasta over spaghetti noodles and marinara sauce over alfredo.

    She loves long showers and can often be heard singing in them.

   She is a talented writer and voracious reader, despite some difficulty getting started in the reading department years ago.  There is no adult in my life whose conversation about books I prefer to hers.  She is insightful and sensitive far beyond her fourteen years.

   For most of those fourteen years, orange has been her favorite color.

 

Spreading her very happy eagle wings at Martin Nature Park, OKC, eight 1/2 years old


   She laughs musically.  And regarding smiles that light up a room, there is no comparison to hers.

   She can COOK.  I mean, not just pretend to cook like some kids, which is adorable, this girl can COOK.  She is trustworthy in the kitchen and a true asset to the family meal.

       She can identify wild tomato plants just by sniffing their fruitless stems, and she understands that lemon and basil are nature's perfume.
       She has impeccable telephone manners. 
       She is an avid rope jumper.  She used to practice jumping rope while her older sister practiced with the basketball team, and I would count for her.  One day she jumped a consecutive 694 times!  No break, no joke.  She was rightfully amazed.
       She is as tireless on the trampoline as she is with a jump rope.
    She is gentle with animals, endlessly affectionate, and has a calming nature about her. 
    Her pet rooster named Rocky knows he is her favorite and has made her his.
   
   She is loyal to a fault, defending her siblings and her close friends against all pain and all opposition.

   She knows how to pray; she knows that God heals; and she will share her faith with people, but gently.



She would swim 24 hours a day if we let her but never compains when it's time to dry off. 
Handsome and I gave her this boat for her twelfth birthday, late at night,
and she was so excited that she filled it with pillows and blankets and slept there. 
The next morning she was on the water before breakfast.



   Once upon a time our girl was elected Chaplain of her Sunday School class, and while she held that office she took the job very seriously.  I used to love hearing the scriptures she selected each week and then her personal comments on them.  She displayed the best poise, the greatest respect for the Bible, and the strongest sense of teamwork I have ever seen in a child at church.  Noone was prouder than Handsome and me.

   She has always become deeply attached to her teachers at school.  And her teachers have always had lovely things to say about her, constantly praising her passion, discplined efforts, and sweetness-without-borders in the classroom.

   She loves to fall asleep having her back tickled and her hair stroked, listening to Raindrops on Roses or made up stories about the Pine Forest.

   She likes cranberry-orange juice in the morning and warm milk with honey at night.

   She endured brain surgery twice as a toddler and recovered miraculously both times.  The details and memories are seared into my heart, and the resulting gratefulness for her survival and healing keeps bitterness over other things sort of mild.  God has surprised us over and over again.


   It seems like nearly every friend of hers has claimed her as "BEST friend."  Because she really is. 

   When she turned thirteen last summer, she had just moved into the upstairs "Apartment."  We'd installed brand new carpet, very soft and exactly the color she wanted, and one of her wishes was a vacuum sweeeper all to herself.  We bought her a smallish, bright pink one, and she swept the entire floor I think every day for two weeks.  She would then empty the canister and survey the contents, evaluating whether people might have been walking in her room with dirty shoes. 
   While it is fun to receive gifts you really, really, really want, it is even more fun to give those gifts to your children.  The sillier the beter.  She isn't here now, but every time I see this pink sweeper I giggle.



Kinda looks to me like Picachu knows exactly what's coming.  Yikes.

   She is a MAJOR fan of pinatas.  Looking back through her birthday party pictures over the years, I found only three that did NOT include a tissue-covered, candy-filled object of pretend childhood wrath.  She is tiny but quite strong.  And every year that Handsome strung up a pinata for her and her friends to bash, she did so with ferocity and laughter that would frighten Katniss Everdeen.

   In addition to being super clean, she is a born nester.  Once, I discovered she had applied personalized wall vinyls to her bed nook without any help, and she has always enjoyed rearranging her bedroom, fluffing pillows, changing doll clothes, organizing her book shelves, etc.  I cannot wait to see her own adult home in the future!

   She values modesty, even in her new adolescent beauty.  Which is enormous, by the way.  She is one of those true ladylike beauties, needing no embellishment but knowing how to use it tastefully.


   Like any parent, I could write non stop for days and days about my child.  She and her sister are the light of my heart, the sheer amazement of life.  

   My words cannot do justice to her beauty or her spirit, so I can only close in saying, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHICKEN!!!  You are the picture of softness and sweetness and vulnerability.  You have been given treasures of femininity and love that not many women enjoy.  You have a heart for the Lord.  You are the sort of friend everyone needs in life.  You have a voice that fills empty spaces and drives out shadows.  Your tanned, skinny arms are strong enough to squeeze the breath out of a grown adult, and I miss them.  Be happy, be healthy, take it slow, and enjoy every day.  I love you forever, no matter what, no matter where we are, no matter how long!  Love, Momma."

pinnable

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