Fourteen years old. FOURTEEN YEARS OLD. Can you believe it? I can. Sometimes I feel like the timeline is off and she should be something like 18. Or 20. Or maybe even 25. But, I am definitely not old enough to have a 25 year old so I feel good settling for 14.
I could do the memory post here where I talk about the day she was born. I could talk about some of her babyhood memories. Nah. You can go back in my archives to read stuff like that.
I want to talk about the person she is becoming today. I want to talk a little of how shes gotten here.
Paige was fortunate or unfortunate (depends on how you look at it) to mature at an early age. This threw me for a loop as I wasn't expecting it and didn't quite know how to handle it. When she was 10-13 years old, I thought to my self, "Dear Lord, if it's this bad now? How will I handle the true teen years???"
Overnight it seemed to change. Literally over night. All of a sudden we saw this amazing personality shining through. A sense of humor that had been in hiding burst forth like the brightest ray of sunshine. Her ability to come up with stuff on the fly blew us away. Next thing you know? She finally "got" the chore requirements. Paige now understands how the chore system works and we really have no problems getting her to do her kitchen work daily. Sure, every once in a while she lets it go and I'll kick in and do it to give her a break. This will heap loads of guilt on her shoulders and I reassure her that everyone needs a break now and again and I don't mind. That's how family works. Her tolerance level for lazy siblings isn't very high at the moment. She hasn't quite grasped that they won't be able to work at her level. We're working on that part of understanding.
She is an amazing big sister to Mak and The Boy. I know when I leave them in her care, I don't have to worry. She will protect them and care for them in our absence and the peace of mind from that is worth more than she will ever know.
Paige isn't afraid of work, either. She pretty much has her own business going with babysitting. Working on Friday night and going to church with her friends on Saturday night is usually how she rolls. How many kids this age are so self-disciplined? She pays for her own stuff when she wants it, but doesn't mind sharing.
I am so proud of Paige. She is turning into a woman that I am honored to know and have in my life. Is she perfect? No. That's part of her charm, though. She can laugh at herself as easily as anyone else can. I'm not her friend, I am her Mama. Maybe one day we can be friends of a sort. I still have to go toe toe with her and try to teach her to the best of my ability before she heads out in this world. We're so much alike that we butt heads on a regular basis. But, we get each other. It never lasts long and we recover fast. I'm sure there will be occasions where she'll be the typical teenager with attitude.....but I've seen glimpses of her true self. I see what she has potential to be and places she has potential to go.
I can honestly say I'm looking forward to this upcoming 14th year of her life. Paige starts high school this year and a whole new chapter and phase of growing up. Sometimes I even get a little smug knowing that what most parents go through with hormones and whatnot with their typical teenager ages 13-16....I've already encountered and survived with Paige. Sure, we're gonna have more moments here and there....but I already know we'll make it through to the other side, so that means I can face it.
Happy Birthday, Baby Girl. We are just so dang proud of you and love you so much. You are the Ninja of ninjas.
She was leaving out this morning and I told her that I needed a picture for my blog for today's post. I whipped out my trusty camera phone and before I knew it, she took it from me to do a self portrait. I just could not be trusted to do a decent picture.