She would announce to any stranger walking by, "My daddy fawted!"
She was stubborn and refused to say "Sorry" when she was the one that smacked another kid because he just looked at her.
She wanted to change her name to Erica.
She turned a cartwheel on the balance be am when she was 4 just because she wanted to see if she could and she did.
She plastered herself with Vaseline and came out naked during a visit with a prospective daycare family.
She loved Elephant Show and would play the video over and over, singing every song.
She was afraid of the dark and would cry and say she was scared of the "big bad wolf".
She wrote like this: elppa (apple) or yppah (happy) and said that she like writing that way.
Those were some memories that I cherish of my daughters, as their mommy but now, I'm cherishing memories as their friend.
I think back to when they were growing up - how great they were even as kids. They never threw tantrums in the middle of store or screamed, "I hate you" or were selfish and disrespectful. Family traditions came easy because they appreciated things like movie night or family harvest celebrations where we hid candy all over the house. I cherished sitting with one of them between my legs as I combed their hair and made them look pretty or watched Annie or a Shirley Temple movie for the umpteenth time.
As teenagers, they chose friends that liked them for who they were. They weren't followers, they were leaders, making their own fashion statements and standing firmly for what was right. I would lay on their beds and talk about life, friends, boys, books and whatever was on their minds and I'm so glad I did.
I now see the fruits of those times we've spent together. This weekend, we spent time together (girls night) where we chilled in Portland, laughing and talking together. I pushed Jarebear Boo in a shopping cart (just like old times) and oohed and awwed over sights and sounds of Portland's Saturday market. I grinned from ear to ear riding the rail, waiting for it to pick up speed as if we were on a roller coaster ride.
Saying goodbye was hard but on the way home, I realized that this is the perfect gift God has given me...to not only be a mom but also their friend. I know there is more to come...more adventures, laughs and times shared together. So, if you are a parent of a teen and you wonder how you'll get past the hard parts...you will, one day at a time. One day, you'll wake up and discover that they are no longer cause for gray hair but passageways for joy, tremendous joy.
Ev'Yan and Jarani - thank YOU for being my very best friends. I love you forever and alway...for now. (As she used to say when she said, "I love you.")