AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape TITLE: Thirteen going on fabulous DATE: 3/16/2009 01:21:00 PM ----- BODY:

A teenager lives in our house now. She moved in last Wednesday and kicked out the little girl who used to be here. So far, she has been just as sweet and delicious as the little girl, and honestly, I don't expect that to change. I'm not scared of these teenage years.

Lovely is now thirteen. On her birthday, she came home to a yard full of flamingos wishing her a "Happy Birthday!" She had requested shepherd's pie for her birthday dinner and also wanted a homemade chocolate cake with chocolate icing. She got both. I even whipped up some peanut butter mousse to put between the four layers of the cake to surprise her. And, to her amazement, I managed to write legibly, even nicely, if I do say so myself, on the top of the cake. She almost didn't believe I had done it.

Her daddy wanted some pictures made for her birthday. "Thirteen is special," he proclaimed. I think that can be loosely translated, "I would like to have one last shot at my baby girl," but I could be wrong.

The young woman she is becoming is quite remarkable. She has been through a lot the past few years, yet she continues to love with an open heart. She is also able to stand firm in her beliefs, and that will really suit her well as she enters high school.

As an example: a couple of weeks ago, I asked Lovely how her piano lesson was the night before. (I had been helping her with her music because she had a lot to accomplish in a very little amount of time, and because,well, quite frankly, she just wasn't being taught.) She opened up and talked for almost an hour about how her teacher had been telling her to lie to her father and me. She was to "forget" her assignment book so that I couldn't ask questions and was told to not let us know that the teacher had failed to register Lovely for a festival she had been preparing for.

Lovely said, and I do quote because I will never forget it, "It's not right for a teacher to ask me to lie to my parents."

Right on, dearie. That is an incredibly mature realization. If I had been able to stand up for that when I was even 17, I would have had a much easier time of things. It was so brave of her to open up and let us know what was going on and that it made her really uncomfortable.

This girl, this young woman, balances loving her brother and me with the knowledge that her mother tells her that she shouldn't. She balances loving her father and her mother with the knowledge that they don't love each other. She must know how much we all love her, or I don't see how she could do it.

She hasn't been dealt a fair lot as a child. But instead of it ruining her childhood, it is already apparent that she is using what she has learned about life to become a beautiful, remarkable, strong, loving, and courageous young woman.

I am proud to know her, and I am so grateful that my son has Lovely for a big sister.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Michelle DATE:Monday, March 16, 2009 at 2:36:00 PM EDT At the age 13 I was horrible...my mom just wished I was either younger or older because I treated her so poorly. As long as you have the confidence & keep her close :) you will not have a problem ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Margaret DATE:Monday, March 16, 2009 at 4:28:00 PM EDT What a lovely little homage to a clearly lovely girl. She's lucky to have you too. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Kris DATE:Monday, March 16, 2009 at 4:31:00 PM EDT Tha was so sweet. She is an amazing young lady! She's learned that from you. :) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous No Minimom DATE:Monday, March 16, 2009 at 6:27:00 PM EDT She really is lovely! And all that gorgeous hair. Daddy better get that shotgun primed. ;-)

I love the shot of her hugging Bird. So so sweet. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Nita DATE:Monday, March 16, 2009 at 8:57:00 PM EDT Oh Marty - what a horrible situation for Miss Lovely to be in! I am so glad she trusts and loves you guys so much to share her true feelings. CC is so lucky to have such a bright big sister.

And the pic of her and CC hugging - gorgeous. :) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Convertible Girl DATE:Monday, March 16, 2009 at 9:48:00 PM EDT Beautiful -- hope she reads your blog! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous flutter DATE:Monday, March 16, 2009 at 10:13:00 PM EDT she is absolutely beautiful ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous myrelish DATE:Monday, March 16, 2009 at 10:31:00 PM EDT It is quite clear that Lovely is an amazing person with a wonderful family. Congratulations (and Happy Birthday Lovely). ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Stella DATE:Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 10:03:00 AM EDT It is clear that Lovely is a wonderfully special young woman! You are both incredibly lucky to have one another!! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Susie DATE:Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 2:19:00 PM EDT Beautiful.

I know it must be hard for her to be in the middle but she is so lucky to have so many adults who love her and adore her - not to mention a baby brother worship her:)

So sweet... ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Michelle Lynn DATE:Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 2:59:00 PM EDT She's an amazing girl. She is lucky to have you, and I'm sure you feel lucky to have her too! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous the new girl DATE:Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 8:21:00 PM EDT That picture of the two of them hugging made me WEEP.

She's lucky to have you. And you are lucky to have her. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous whymommy DATE:Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 5:01:00 PM EDT Oh, sweet girl. May her path through teenagerland be easy and filled with a couple really good friends. And you guys, to look out for her.

(And that line about standing up for yourself? Yeah. I get you. I'm so glad that she can talk to you guys about this stuff already.)

The pictures are so sweet. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Bubblewench DATE:Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 7:49:00 AM EDT What awesome pictures! And what a great post for Lovely.

Happy Birthday young woman. May you grow to be all you can be and more. Keep loving. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Stimey DATE:Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 8:21:00 PM EDT She sounds like a really wonderful teenager who will grow into a wonderful woman. And she's beautiful! ----- --------