I'll share the morning I complimented her matching attire. Before I could get the orange juice on the table she had been up and down the stairs, switching her socks and her skirt and there she was, hair going every which way, her eyes frantic as she begged me to reassure her that this was better, that nothing went together anymore.
She was choosing her own clothes and dressing herself; I honestly didn't care what the pre-school teachers thought.
The other parents might look askance, but their children flocked to her side. In first grade she came home flummoxed and out of sorts. The girls in her class had made up a list to take the guess work out of who would get to sit next to Little Cuter at lunch. Another child might have been flattered; my girl was annoyed. Didn't she have a say in the matter? What made them think that she was that important? She hadn't done anything to merit such attention... or so she thought.
I smiled, remembering TBG's oft repeated advice on how to be cool - just act as if you don't care. Her trick was that she really didn't care. She didn't keep score. She was friends with everyone.
Nothing had changed by middle school. "Mom, why do the kids fight with one another? If you're not mad at anyone you can sit anywhere you like at lunch. Why don't they get it?" It was a good question then and it's a good question now. She still gets along with everyone; it's just easier that way.
Her job vanished as the office closed its doors. She started the next one just as her severance pay ran out. Efficient human that she is, there was even time for a week off between job search and job start. She was unemployed but not uninvolved. Every day included some kind of work on her future. She wasn't bogged down, she was just delayed by a brief hiccup.
Turns out that this new job has real chance for growth. She's on her first business trip right now, and feeling pretty good about herself. Today is her birthday and she's celebrating in style: a road trip, not with her mom but with colleagues. She's officially a big girl, even if she'll always be my baby.
Twenty-seven years ago you arrived on the scene, somewhat reluctantly if the truth be told. Today, there's not a reluctant bone in your body. You embrace the world and its challenges with open arms and a willingness to learn and to help and to do it well.
The world is a better place because you are in it, Little Cuter.
Happy Happy Birthday!