Among the many issues we’ve been dealing with over the last several weeks – Rowdy running away, talking about custody and Monkey’s subsequent stubbornness (that I’ve yet to have time to blog about), I had a bright spot on Friday.  It was one of those days that you remember as a parent for a long time to come.  The type of day that makes you proud to be a parent, the type that gets you through every other struggle teenagers will throw at you.

On one hand, I was a horrible, horrible parent.  I allowed LaLa to basically skip school – with my approval!

On the other hand, the day is one that will remain in LaLa’s memories (and mine) for years to come as a truly awesome day.  Okay, maybe it will just be awesome in my mind, but I can hope LaLa feels the same way, can’t I?

It all started with the Orthodontist scheduling her braces to be removed at 12:30pm.  What a waste of a day!  For both her and me – I’d have to take the day off from work and she’d barely get any work done at school.  So I offered her a radical plan….

Begin studying for her driving learner’s permit and I’d take her to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) office before her appointment.  She’d have just enough time to learn the material if she worked at it and we’d make a day out of it.

Unsure if I was serious or not, LaLa started her studying; a week worth of nights spent kicking the other kids off of the computer so she could study, all the while complaining about how much reading she had to do.  The girl reads around 10-15 books per MONTH, and she’s complaining about a little DPS reading….

The morning finally arrives and we set off earlier than necessary.  The DPS office doesn’t open up until 8am.  We pull up at 7:20am and the line is already around the building!  Waiting was excruciating.  The doors open up and we file inside to be assigned numbers – LaLa receives number 404.  The overhead speaker calls out number 1.  No joke.  We wait and wait some more. 

Almost 3 hours into the waiting, LaLa’s number is called.  She’s ready to bolt out the door; she’s scared out of her mind that she’s going to fail.  She spent the 3 hours rereading her notes, praying the written test isn’t as hard as she fears.  Turns out it is administered via a touch screen computer and is multiple choice – she missed only one question out of 30.  Victory!

I tell her we need to celebrate – name her pleasure, I’m game.  She’s unsure until we stop for gas and she sees a nail salon across the street.  Pedicures it is!  An hour and a half of pampering and pretty toes later and we melt off into the afternoon to find some lunch. 

Bellies full, we finally make it over to the Orthodontist.  An hour later and we’re posing in front of the camera – straight teeth and huge smiles – proud moments all around.

School still isn’t out for the day, so we complete a few more errands and head home before the other kids get there.  On the way home, LaLa opened up for me in a way I’ve never heard her open up before. 

She wants to volunteer in an underdeveloped country after she graduates for at least a year or so.  She learned in school how privileged we are to live in the US of A.  How much she has to be grateful for and how selfish other kids are to want more, more, more.  She’s not sure exactly what she wants to do just yet, but is sure about wanting to give of herself to others with less.

She can’t understand the desires of other kids that want to grow up and be adults RIGHT NOW!!!  That life as a child is a piece of cake compared to being an adult.  That obligations are required to be an adult and how easy it is to be a child – you just have to obey your parents, do your school work, and have fun.  She realizes that she’s fast approaching adulthood and her childhood is slipping away from her.  That she wants to savor every minute of it and not rush into growing up.

I would love to say that I had some say in her believing this way….however, this was all LaLa.  She’s come to this conclusion herself with very little input from Hun or me for this exact mindset.  I could stretch and claim to take at least SOME credit, but I’m not going to diminish her coming to the conclusion on her own, regardless of any input Hun or I might have had.

I’m so proud of her right now!!