14 is a great birthday.
At least from a parent's point of view.
Two years til driving. 4 years til leaving.
I love 14.
And I love my 14 year old.
This birthday fell in a big,stressful week for the birthday girl.
Two part math exam Tuesday and Thursday.
French exam on her actual birthday.
8th grade celebration on Friday.
We ran from one thing to another. Yet in typical Delaney fashion, it was easy and quirky, with the request for chicken noodle soup and Caesar salad made at home with chocolate cake.
That's my girl, easy and challenging all in the same breath.
I am so thrilled to watch this beautiful girl find her path. I feel we are on the cusp of something big. As I watched her surround herself with a new group of friends this year, I saw that she would be alright. She has found her people. Smart, unique girls who love and support each other.
Delaney is creative and marches to the beat of her own drum. Even in preschool, the reports were always, "She is not like the other girls". Black and purple were her colors of choice in a sea of pink. This year she asked for math workbooks and a manual typewriter for her birthday.
She is the most curious person I know, which can be a challenge for a parent. Since she was three she has read about whatever she was interested in at the time, becoming an autodidact (like me) and a fearless person (not like me). I have watched her tackle new sports, two new schools, difficult and challenging relationships. Sometimes she was at the bottom (7th grade friend drama), but I have also seen her rise to the top (8th grade Southeastern swim finals in the 500, helping lead her team to another championship). The fearlessness to try things is something I admire every single day.
As I see the changes a year has made it puts a little lump in my throat. She has a plan for her future. She has started looking at schools and has a top three list, which pretty much does not change. I know that my brave, smart and beautiful girl will do the thing that I have been preparing her for, leave.
But for now, I am enjoying 14.
No driving, no leaving.
*We scooped her on her Craigslist find and surprised her with her most wanted request.