It absolutely amazes me that the baby in this photograph is twelve years old today. And what a wonderful twelve-year-old she is.
Before I became a mother, I thought parenting was a one-way street, with the adult passing wisdom on to the child. But now, of course, I know that children teach us just as much as we teach them.
Lexie has her compass firmly fixed on her North Star and she never wavers. I’m afraid my own compass is a bit wobbly at times, veering from due north with the whims and opinions—and needs—of others. But I’ve been watching how Lexie stays true to herself and it’s helping me see my North Star a little more clearly.
She’s a wonderful mix of old soul and young tween. One minute she’ll be writing fiction with a discipline most adults would envy and the next she’ll be giggling with her friends over One Direction. I’m fascinated by her many facets: the pianist and drummer, the tomboy playing football, the glamorous young lady all dressed up, the volleyball player, the reader, the big sister playing with American Girl dolls, the artist drawing anime characters, the occasionally shy girl, the dancer belting out songs onstage, the seamstress and knitter.
Lexie’s in middle school now, facing a new set of challenges. I stand below her, metaphorically speaking, clasping a net, ready to catch her if she falls. But she is so sure-footed, compass in hand. You worry too much, Mom, she says, smiling down at me. I don’t know where that remarkable self-assuredness comes from, but I’m glad she has it. As she enters these years when girls can start to doubt themselves, I pray that she will always see how truly wonderful and beautiful she is.
The photograph was taken by the gorgeously talented Claudia Danielson. I don’t remember how we happened upon Claudia, but I’m so glad we did. Her portraits of our children hang above our bed and they make me smile every day.