12/21/15

Best of 2015 - Favorite Person . . .


For the balance of this year you're going to get a lot of posts that are lists . . . "favorite (this)" and "best (that)" but I wanted to spend one last 2015 post on just one topic and one idea so I posted the list and dump of all my "nearly favorite people" on Friday and will, today, focus on only my FAVORITE person of the year - my daughter.

I think about the year/13 months she has had. She's moved, she's had a woman move in with her and her father, her mother has gotten remarried, she's had all new aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents (from all possible angles) come in to her life. She's had to adjust to new expectations and new demands and new opportunities.

The I think about that in the context of the four years before that. In that time she has weathered her parents ending their marriage (for all intents and purposes) but only internally at an age so young she probably didn't even know it was "untraditional" for one parent to sleep in the guest room. She's lived in seven (including our own family house) homes. She's changed schools, officially, twice (and spent a year at a third school building after a fire at her initial school). She's seen her father move out of the house and then convert to Judaism. She's seen her mother and father lose jobs and then, in time, find new jobs. She's seen other relationships for her parents start and stop.

I think of all that turmoil and upheaval and how hard every one of those things hit me and how poorly I dealt with just about all of them and I think about how well she's done. How adaptable she's proven herself to be. How resilient. How brave (best word for it). How wonderfully kind and friendly and comfortable she's been. I think about how much easier she has made all of this for me - even though I never asked or expected her to and never, frankly, even talked directly with her about many of the above changes.

She's nine. She acts 22. She has her own sense of style and "favorite things" and "least favorite things" and she has her own set of the above at our house and a different set of those lists (with some vensian overlaps) at her mother's house. And I'm fine with that. I love that. I have, since she was very young, wanted and almost demanded her to be her own person with strong and informed positions and perspectives. I've pushed her for to figure out how things work and how she feels about them and who she is or might be in that world. She knows who Janet Yellen is. She watches political debates and the State of the Union. She reads My Little Pony comic books. She's obsessed with Minecraft.

These next 1,562 years of parenting her are going to be tough. Her body is starting to change again and this is the big one. She's no longer a little girl - she's hardly even a girl. Soon enough she'll be a young woman and then a woman. Her tween years will test us and we'll see lot of big, huge changes and happenings and incidents come and go. If we are LUCKY - she'll talk to us about all of them. If we're even luckier she'll allow us to comfort her or make those things easier (asking for the support or just accepting it).

She's not perfect but she's perfectly alright with that and I am to. She is probably my favorite person all day, every day but for the year 2015 my daughter is my favorite person of the year for all the ways she is changing and all the ways she continues to change me.