I suspect that this gauntlet is all the more difficult to cross because she's my precious first-born. I feel so conflicted inside, wanting to stifle the all-too-fast beginnings of this burgeoning new person and at the same time admiring and respecting her so much. She is everything I hoped she would be and then more. I didn't know that thirteen-year olds could be so confident and insightful. I didn't know that they could show glimmers of being so much more than their parents. And yet, I feel only a tremendous gratefulness that she is mine, even if only for this very short time.
The music is just what she loves and her appreciation is tangible, though not in quite the same way as the three shrieking, shimmying, terribly off-key adolescent girls directly behind us. There has always been a dignity about my Anabel. She's not flamboyant and she isn't all that drawn to physical touch. Even as a infant, not yet even able to control her own neck muscles, she'd arch her little back away from our snuggles, trying to procure for herself some much valued personal space. I'm reminded of that little newborn tonight as I watch her. Her eyes are bright and if you look closely, you can see the joy lining her face, but she's still and quiet. Though I don't much like the music (I've become that old woman, much to my secret mirth!), my own feet are proving to be far more active than my girls'. She is careful to avoid touching the person next to her, for that would equal social unpleasantness to her. I know that she'd undoubtedly be a great deal noisier and overtly 'teenager-ish' if she were here with a pack of girlfriends, but in the meantime, I just try to record all the little observations I make tonight so that I can remember her, here, right now, forever. She represents eternity in no small way and I'm so happy to be along for the ride.