O is the kind of teenage daughter that makes an already half-crazy, occasionally-befuddled and always-exhausted mom want to applaud her courage, shake my head at her bold personality, and scream at her sassy attitude all in the same day. All of this, her courage, personality and sass if well cultivated and handled with grace and refinement will prepare her for real world experiences, I hope.
I have to remind myself that O’s life has been redirected just as much as mine, maybe even more. I find subtle ways to show her that she can be gentle and softhearted while being bold and strong (with a little sass). O will hold my hand in the car on the way to school and talk to me about her friends and the girls whom are not her friends. She will tell me about her studies and plans for the future and she will even tell me about her latest crush. When she needs time with just mom, she will ask if we can lay in bed and talk. These conversations are the refining moments in her life, when she feels she can share with me anything and we laugh and cry together, and I get a glimpse into the smile and tears of the young women I am proud of.
O brightens my life and I have found happiness in being her mom.