Thursday, January 19, 2012

My father warned me just after Kenzie was born that now that I had a child of my own, time would fly by - and it has.

On Sunday, Mackenzie will turn sixteen.   Even with the warning, the years have flown by faster than I thought possible.

In the past few weeks my heart has been flooded with memories.  In my minds eye I can see a little girl, skin speckled with mosquito bites making mud pies in the backyard.  Kenzie always had dirt under her fingernails, and her had was forever a tangled mass.  I remember brushing hair, the back so curly and fine that it was impossible to get the tangles out without hurting her - and I tried so hard not to hurt her. 

I also remember how cautious she was when she attempted a new skill, like her first time crossing the street by herself.  We had given her instructions to make sure she looked both directions.  Kenzie looked to the left, she looked to the right - no cars, she looked to the left, she looked to the right - no cars she did this over and over until she was confident that it was safe to cross.  And then a car passed by.  So she had to start the process all over again.  The poor thing stood on that corner a long time that day.  But she didn't give up, she didn't ask for help.

Another time Kenzie showed determination was when she taught herself to ride a bike.  At seven, John and I could see that she was no where near ready for the training wheels to come off, she just didn't have the balance.  But when she asked her Dad to take off her training wheels, John decided to give her a chance.  Kenzie tried for weeks to get the hang of it.  Over and over she would peddle a few strokes, then loose her balance and have to steady herself with her feet.  The neighbourhood all watched her try and fail, try and fail.  One neighbour came to me and suggested that we just put the wheels back on.  I didn't want to do that to her.  Because even though it was hard, she wasn't giving up and I wasn't about to give up on her either.  When she eventually did ride, I couldn't have been prouder.  It didn't come easy for her and she didn't give up.

Witnessing my daughter grow up has been one of the great gifts in my life.  Kenzie has a strength that I admire.  Because of her I want to be a better woman myself.   

Sixteen.  It's a big year.  She has been studying her driver's handbook, and has her first job.  At sixteen, she could meet the love of her life (I did) or have her heart broken for the first time.  This week, she brought home paper work for a SHSM (Specialized High School Major) in Health and Wellness.  Kenzie is planning long term goals that aren't so long term anymore.  I feel like she is on the cusp of something great and this will be the year she will soar.

I think that Kenzie believes this herself.  She has choosen One Little Word for 2012 as well.  FORWARD.  Seems appropiate.

Happy Birthday Kiddo, love you. xoxo

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