On Friday, my chubby-cheeked, sumo-thighed, afro-puffed baby girl turned 16. SIXTEEN! My baby.....is six-freakin-teen! It just doesn't seem possible! I seriously can't wrap my head around it. How can she possibly be that old? It seems like just yesterday that I couldn't close the lap bar on her booster seat because her chunky-monkey thighs were too fat!
Gabrielle Kyne' MaKenzie, my pride and joy. Without a doubt the best daughter a mother could ever wish for. She's so beautiful, so smart and has the biggest, kindest heart of anyone I've ever known. She's so sweet and outgoing, she has a gazillion friends, because she literally never meets a stranger. She's been like that since she was the littlest girl. I couldn't walk 10 feet in the grocery store, with her in the cart, without someone stopping me to tell me how cute and sweet she was. She smiled and waved and blew kisses to everyone, all the time.
She's an incredible big sister, always ready with help, or a hug, for M and E. She helps Meg with her homework, and they still regularly cram together in the same bed at night. She reads to Ethan in Japanese and plays Lego Stars Wars on the PlayStation whenever he asks.
She's a hard worker, so ambitious and such a perfectionist about everything she does. I posted last summer about her first job; she was up at 5:30 every morning, 5 days a week, to catch the 6:30a bus to work, coming home on the 5:30p bus every evening! How many 15 year olds would be motivated to work 12 hour day during their summer vacation? She asked if she could have 2 jobs this summer, "one serious job, to make real money, and one just for fun"! I said no, because she's also signed up to take two online courses over the summer because she doesn't have enough time over her last two years of school to take all the classes she wants! (I know that makes her sound like an unbelievably obnoxious goody-goody, but she's so not like that at all). Anytime I see any of her teachers out and about, they stop to tell me what a joy she is, and how happy they are to have her in class.
I know, GAG! There's nothing worse than a mother bragging on and on about her kid! But I always say that I can brag about G, because I take absolutely no credit for the wonderful young woman she's become. I honestly have no idea how it's happened, but I know I had nothing to do with. She's had the most screwed-up life, and has the most dysfunctional family ever. Over the last 16 years, she's been the innocent victim bearing the brunt of every stupid decision I've made (and there have been MANY), the results of which would have left nearly anyone incapable of living a normal life, much less the joyous life Gabi has created for herself. She has a million reason to be angry at the world, but somehow, she's just the opposite, full of nothing but love and happiness, and she regularly tells me that I'm her best friend.
I couldn't possibly be prouder of you Gabrielle. You have grown into an incredible young woman. I'm so excited about what the future has in store for you, there's no doubt in my mind that you will do amazing things with your life! I love you so much.
9 years old
Just before her13th birthday, in Atlanta