Someone in the next room sounds like Marilyn Monroe. I don’t know who it is among the eight or so teenagers in there doing Karaoke, but someone’s got the sultry thing going on.
One person I’m pretty sure it isn’t is my daughter. She doesn’t do anything subtly, quietly. No, you always know when Kate’s around because she’ll be the one having a great time, laughing louder than everybody else, enjoying every minute of life as only she does.
Kate never glides gracefully into a room, she barrels. She doesn’t just laugh, she guffaws. She doesn’t just “like” something, she “LOVES” it.
My oldest teenager embraces life like the Puff-a-Lump bunny she embraced when she was a baby—she never lets go. When “Booey,” as we called it, became just too shredded to take to bed anymore, I put it through the wash and quietly tucked it away in the basement. But the level of shredded-ness just proved that Kate loved that bunny fiercely, just as she loves life today.
She seems to have come out of the womb grasping for the brass ring. She knows better than just about anyone that life has so much to offer. She doesn’t understand what “down days” are because, frankly, I don’t think she’s ever had one. She is, without a doubt, the most “up” person I’ve ever known.
I have learned so much from that kid over the past 17 years.
• I’ve learned that if you are taller than everyone else in your entire middle school, you might as well use it to your advantage.
• I’ve learned that if you make some personal goals, like, say, to get good grades, you might as well work hard to get the best grades you can.
• I’ve learned that working hard is a good thing.
• I’ve learned that it’s important to be a good sister every day.
• I’ve learned that if you’re going to London you might as well just go to Paris too.
Every day that karaoke-singing, belly-laughing, big-hug-giving girl reminds me to embrace life, to embrace friends, to embrace family, and to love them with all the enthusiasm I can muster.
It’s 2009. I hope this year I can remember this one simple lesson that my oldest daughter has taught me.