Yesterday morning’s exchange with my 12 year-old daughter:
Me: Oh dear God.
Me: The worst possible thing that could ever happen has happened, and at 7:46 on a Saturday morning.
Zoe: Netflix isn’t working?
Me: We are out of coffee.
Zoë: Yes mom, that is right up there with Armageddon.
Me: You don’t know. I bet if you pulled back the drapes and looked out into the eastern sky right now, you would see a battalion of angels bursting forth in song, and a bearded Savior on a horse blowing a trumpet.
Zoë: Well, I hope he brought coffee.
People tell me all the time that they don’t know how I stay sane.
Well here’s your answer:
And I have been enjoying her so much lately. I laugh all the time. Her wit catches me off guard and I just laugh until I cry.
If I wrote down all the funny things she says, that’s all I would have time to do.
There is no one like her.
Resilient. Hilarious. Kind. Brilliant.
Lover of Harry Potter.
And pizza. With extra sauce.
She loves movie theatres. And popcorn with no salt. (Blek.)
She loves kindness, and humor, and generosity.
She loves Supernatural. And Misha Collins. (And who can blame her?)
She loves Chuck Taylors, and leather, and plaid.
She loves sticking up for the little guy. When she was 5, she popped a bully right in the face…who was twice her size.
And while I don’t condone violence, she definitely has the spirit of a fighter.
And I have learned more from her than anyone.
This kid is something else. She’s certainly stronger and more mature than I ever was at her age.
Her brother’s autism seems to have reached out and formed a force field around her.
Things just bounce off of her like she’s made of titanium.
Sometimes I just sit and watch her, admiring this wondrous creature I made.
I swell with pride when I see her reading. Or teaching something new to her brother. Or being kind to another child who is struggling.
I can barely contain myself when she comes home with all As and one B+ in math, because she has my disdain for numbers. My heart grows like the Grinch when I see her get up and willingly help her grandmother with the groceries. I tear up a little when I hear her consoling her friend over the phone that sometimes dads just don’t show up.
That’s when I think, I raised that girl. Yes she is wonderful, and that is a direct reflection of me and the way I have raised her.
She didn’t turn out this way by accident. There was no magical fairy in the middle of the night who sprinkled this supreme goodness upon her.
She is a great, freakin awesome, smart, generous, kind, and hilarious kid because that is the child I raised her to be.
And you bet your sweet bippy I am going to take every ounce of credit for that.
This past week I got some less than stellar news, which will require us raising funds to about the tune of about $15,000. A few years go that would have sent me reeling. Now I just nod my head and get started on the work of figuring it out.
Since I am completely transparent, (and a terrible liar, by the way) when Zoë asked what was wrong, I told her.
She just shrugged her shoulders and said, “And? We can do that in 5 minutes.”
I tried to explain to her how much money that is. She replied, “I don’t care how much it is. We’ve done it before, we will do it again.”
Regardless of how many times you have looked at your child, and heard your own words coming back at you…nothing really prepares you for those moments when they are the good words.
Now don’t get me wrong. I certainly do sometimes hear that I am eating too much or not exercising enough or being unreasonable to a colleague.
But in those moments when I am wondering if I really can face yet another fundraising campaign, my little Zoë warrior helps me straighten up my back, pick up my sword and head into battle.
Nothing is impossible.
She’s my elder wand. My brand new Spaulding. My Colt. My Puccini’s Campfire with extra marmalade.
I thank God for her every single day. For I would truly be lost without her sparkling wit and undying hope.
Her name means life for a reason.
When my grandma was still with us, she used to say that God sent me my Zoë first, to give me the strength I needed to raise Zion.
I wish she knew how true that statement really is.