My ten-year old is sick. She has been sick for two weeks now, with some sort of mild sore-throat viral thing that the doctor initially thought might be mono. Well, now we know it's not mono but that doesn't make me feel any better because I don't know how to make her feel better.
I adore my son. For all of the challenges we face together, he is an amazing child and we are determined to guide and nurture him. But my daughter? My relationship with her is so different than with him. She is truly the Yin to my Yang, the Beavis to my Butthead. What I work so hard to have with my son comes so naturally with my daughter.
When she first arrived, she was not quite two, a tornadic ball of energy who was angry and scared. By the time she reached two and a half, with the help of a wonderful play therapist, she was my little girl. And she and I have been peaches and cream ever since. The best part of sending her to preschool as a little girl was picking her up. She would run to me, arms out, laughing and calling, "Mama!" If you've never experienced it, that is the perfect ending to a day.
Now she's ten, her last year in elementary school. She's smart and funny, tall and beautiful. My nickname for her is "Bella"--the italian word for beauty--and it sums her up pretty well. She is also curious, precocious, challenging, questioning, and at times smart-alecky. But when I look at her and I think about who she was, who she is, and who she will be, all I see is Beauty.
I do worry about chasing boys off. I worry about keeping her focused on a good path, guiding her through the next several years, and maintaining the close relationship we have right now. But I know that she is a great kid. She has a lot of love. She gives a lot of love. When I look at her, I often think how amazing she is. And that....bella.