Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lucky Me

When people learn that I have five daughters, their reactions are pretty typical. "Oh my Gawd, you don't look old enough to have five daughters!" (my personal favorite) "Think of all those weddings you'll have to pay for". (is this 1955?) or "5 Girls! How do you do it?" (my most hated question of all time). I will usually answer with a noncommittal shrug, "I don't know, I just do it" or I will give the explanation that my four oldest do not actually live with me full time as my ex has custody. Cue awkward silence, head nod and them going about their business.

People seem to have difficulty with the non-traditional family dynamic that I have going on. Weird as it may be though, it works for me. And although I miss my girls like crazy, not seeing them every day has made me into a better mother. I feel like I tolerate more and I am more affectionate. That really isn't too tough though because I love hugs and kisses. I also believe that I lucked out when it comes to my girls. They are sweet and responsible (mostly), respectful of others and generally helpful. They're not perfect (what kid is?) and they each have their moments, but I wouldn't trade them for the world.

Teenagers can be obnoxious, loud and cause you to go prematurely gray. (unless you're lucky enough to be a redhead) However, at 16, Hannah is a dream teen. She does great in school, has a good circle of friends and is very trustworthy. She is also bossy and opinionated, but let's face it, she has 4 younger sisters. Of course she's bossy. Hannah was 13 when her dad and I got divorced and that is not an easy age in any respect. She and I used to fight about everything. Both of us believed that we were right and neither would back down. Can you tell that I'm also the oldest? Once I no longer saw her every day (and she got older) I realized that it wasn't worth it to fight over the little things. Who cares how the dishes get put in the dishwasher as long as they get clean? (Seriously, this was an issue for me). We have a much better relationship now and I like to think that she can come talk to me about anything. If she ever feels like talking about her feelings, that is (which is pretty much never).

This past weekend, she received a text from one of her friends who just had a baby. I asked her if this girl was in her grade and she said yes. That really made me stop and think and be thankful for the fact that I don't have to be a grandmother at 38. I know she's going to make mistakes and that's okay, but give me another 10 years before you spring that surprise on me.

When she was younger, someone described her as having an old soul. I think this fits her perfectly. She cares about her friends deeply, but is grounded enough to know what she wants to get out of life. She makes good grades, both because she is intelligent, but she also said that she doesn't want to disappoint her dad and I. She is making smart choices and I could not be prouder of her. She is beautiful both inside and out and I am so lucky that she's my oldest daughter.