Although some of the other 13-year olds are trying to wear heels, she’s still running around in Uggs and Chuck Taylors.
She tried softball and soccer, possibly because she knows that sports are important to me. She didn’t last more than one season, but I’m thrilled she at least tried. I used to pitch to her and her sister for an hour in the backyard or at a softball field. She once took a line drive off her shin, and you could see the stitches of the ball for a week. It was funnier than it was painful. At softball tryouts they called the kids up to bat. Some kids got 10, 15 or more pitches. She lined her first few pitches back through the box, and the guy said, “Next.” Sad, she asked, “Why did the other kids get so many more tries?” I told her, “Because it only took three pitches for them to know you can hit.”
Theater and dance are more her thing, and she’s not afraid to sing.
She’s not a student who quickly absorbs information and easily gets A’s. However, she is a student who inherently knows how to learn what she doesn’t know. She makes flashcards with her iPod. She writes PowerPoint presentations as easily as I would write a shopping list. She finds study guides on YouTube. She is a multimedia kid.
You can’t knock the smile off her face, unless you’re a ghost. She sees them occasionally, and she’s not happy about it, so it doesn’t make sense that she loves movies like The Exorcist and The Sixth Sense.
Every Thanksgiving she tries cranberry sauce. She never gets past half a spoonful, but she’ll try again next year. She’ll try almost any food you come up with. She knows that it will often taste gross, but that won’t stop her from trying. That’s also why she loves calamari, but not as much as she loves Chinese food.
On top of all that, she’s the bravest kid I know. she’s had to deal with things that are more difficult than I could ever imagine, and she is still smiling through it all. I’ve never been as tough as she has been, but I’ve never had to be that tough. Makes me feel lucky, in more ways than one.