Monday, March 12, 2012

Selah Turns Teen

My daughter Selah turned 13 yesterday and her birthday became a little bit of the old days. We grilled hamburgers and cheesedogs (Selah loves cheesedogs) and had pasta salad and cheesecake. Outside, Elise whipped the softball around with whomever she could find and Selah and Kellen played horse.

Entering this teen era with Selah gives me a lot more fear and trepidation than the other kids, who seemed to be breaking down a door together. Selah's age and the bizarre placement agreement* foisted on us has me more thoughtful about who she is and what's to come.

Selah is gentle and introspective. She's always been able to get herself worked up beyond what she needs to. She's almost always the best athlete on her team and the consummate little and big sister - respectful of her two older sisters and relentlessly bossy of her younger siblings.

Yesterday the big kids and I thought of the universe of words and terms she had created that we all still use: "match/match" to indicate, of course, that two things can be worn together; "fashion" (as in your clothes are so fashion, or Your hair is so fashion); she thought of imaginary friends like Libey (an unfortunate imaginary friend who kept, like Kenny, meeting an untimely death) and Kellen's nickname, Parmus.

Selah bridges the gulf between three adult kids and three tiny kids who haven't met the toothfairy yet and one kid who never will celebrate another earthly birthday. Sometimes I sense that she has a teen's world on her shoulders, and all of the tension of a divorced family. Sometimes, I see her free, laughing uncontrollably. And sometimes, I see her burrowed into the corner of the sofa, at rest. She's a curious, beautiful young woman I have had the pleasure to meet and watch grow.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:16 PM

    Happy Birthday again Selah. Ahhhhhh 13....Did your voice change yet? If you need any words of advice...or comforting teenage stories...I'm here. LOVE YOU!
    Aunt KiKi



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