Recently my daughter asked me about Monica Lewinski. Someone on the bus had talked about Bill Clinton and how he had an affair with someone and she didn’t know whether or not to believe this kid. I told her about the situation (she had even been told about the cigar, thank you very much bus-kid) and about my own complicated feelings towards the former President from it and her takeaway from the entire story was, “Wait. You can get an internship at the White House? How do I do that?”

I talk so much about how special my daughter is that I worry that it will rub people the wrong way. I have friends who tell these perfect stories about their amazing and interesting and intelligent and unique kids and it makes me weirdly jealous and crazy but then I wonder if I do the same thing? My daughter is interesting and intelligent and I love sharing those stories, but she’s also a tween who knows how to roll her eyes and cop an attitude like every other girl her age. And we fight…and we yell…and we cry…and we slam doors…and all of the lovely things that all parents of teens do. But in the end? We curl up and talk about our days and tell each other how much we love each other.

She just amazing. And she is truly one of my best friends. She probably knows me better than anyone, simply because we are so much alike. We understand each other in ways only people with similar anxieties and powers of empathy can understand. Some days I worry I’m not a good enough mother for her, and then other days I realize I’m the perfect mother for her.

She actually enjoys running errands and volunteering at races and going on road trips or walks with me, just because she likes being with me over being at home alone. This is EXACTLY what my Dad wanted out of a kid, whereas I was the sullen child who wanted to be at home watch TV or read or to talk on the phone no matter WHAT the other option was. I always preferred being home alone than being anywhere with my Dad. I tell her often: You are the daughter my Dad always wanted me to be. It’s the best compliment I can give her and I wish he were alive to get to know her. He would have been blown away by her, like I am every day.

She turns 12 today. And I hope the day, and this year, and her life ahead is everything she wants it to be an more.

4 thoughts on “12.”

  1. Happy Birthday to Nikki! As much as you’re the perfect mother for her, I think she’s the perfect daughter for you. You have the kind of real but loving mother-daughter relationship that so many of us envy.

    (And how does she look so grown-up in that picture? Wasn’t she like JUST a baby?)

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