And then she was 14

“You can’t force your journey, you can’t fast forward the time it takes for your path to develop, just because you want it now.  The process is what makes you who you are!  Your destiny is not a destination.  It’s not an end goal. Your destiny is right here in front of you.  You just don’t see it because it looks different than you expected.”

These were the words our first born spoke as she stood on stage on her fourteenth birthday, as regal as a queen, in her role as school principal for the BCS spring performance.  Dressed in academic robes, with a forties hair style and vivid and elaborate eye make up, Naomi played the role of Professor X-ray, who sees beyond the ordinary.

“You want favor, where people recognize your abilities.  Favor is developed and earned through faithfulness.  But thats not the same thing as your destiny.”

What perfect words to be spoken by my beautiful world changer.   Oh how far we’ve come.  This is the little one who made me a mother at 19.  I was only five years older than you are now when you opened my heart wide and changed me forever.  I remember her eyes, full of fear, just after her birth.  And I remember the promise I made her then, one that will last forever.  I will be here for you.  I will take care of you.  You are safe with me.

In one more week Naomi flies off to Mexico with her class.  Her first international trip without us – and she is so ready.   I am so proud, my darling, of who you are all, of all you are becoming.  I trust you completely – you will be wise, kind and good.  And a healthy dose of silly and immature too.  I’m so glad.

She loves photography and babies, debates and history, being lazy, make up and movies, and food, food, food.   She wants to simultaneously be a supreme court justice and fashion photographer.  And I think that pretty much encompasses her love for both beauty and justice.  She has a heart for the underdog, deep compassion, and a beautiful capactiy to understand and empathize with a variety of people.

She is proud to be herself.

Naomi is not the kind of leader who is always up front speaking into a microphone, not the kind of leader who shouts ” follow me!”  Instead, she both practices and preaches that leadership looks like being sure of yourself, doing the right thing, and not needing to make a big deal of it.  In a class full of strong leaders, Naomi is a steady compass, full of integrity and wisdom.

And she’s still my baby, cuddling up on the couch with me each night as we watch Gilmore girls together and eat ice cream.  She still does my make up.  And now she encourages me to spend money on myself, to take time for pretty.

This little girl is equal parts my wise right hand woman and the tender sweet soul who wants nothing more than to be pampered.  She is an adventure everyday.

Happy belated Birthday. I love you, baby girl.  To Alpha Centurai, and back.



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