Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Juicy Juuroku

(Sorry, couldn't think of a synonym for 'Sweet' that started with a 'J')

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.

2 months

18 months old

2.5 years old

7th birthday, after a day on the boat

9 years old

Just before her13th birthday, in Atlanta


Gaijin Wife said...

Happy Birthday G!! 16. Bloody Hell. That post could have been so not as lovely as it was. I'm sure if my mum had been blogging about me at 16 it would have been quite shocking. I thought the oldest tested the boundries and went a bit off the rails? Or perhaps that just my dysfunctional family.

What lovely things to say about her. You must be so proud - and of course done something right along the way. Probably more the way we deal with situations than the actual situations themselves that teach our kids things.

I hope she had a nice birthday.

Bryn said...

Thanks GW! LOL, same with my mom. I was horrible at 16! I'd always heard the first one was the "tester" but I was the baby; I think maybe my parents were just so exhausted by the time I came along, they just couldn't be bothered with whatever I was up to.

Gabi is such an awesome kid, but I'm definitely getting payback for my teen years through Meg. That child is an absolute mess and will very likely be the death of me! (She's an exact carbon copy me in every way, maybe that's why we clash so badly?) I still can't figure out how they're turning out so differently?!?!

Lily said...

She sounds amazing. Looking at the pics I can't believe she has always been adorable and now she looks like a beautiful young lady- did the girl ever have an awkward stage? Geez I want to burn every pic of me at 12. You should be proud of such a remarkable Girl. A big Happy Birthday to both of you- 16 years of motherhood for you.

Considering that she considers you her best friend I think that if you look even more closely at alot of her amazing qualities you will find more than a few in yourself.

That was such a lovely post and I hope she read. You both seem to make sucha wonderful mother/daughter pair.

I envy the afro. I want an afro!

Lily said...

Whoa, realized I missed the whole Karuizawa post a whole month back. First of all, Green car is totally a nice way to travel (Even though Tomo is free, during busy time wwe would rather just book us in the Green car too...more space and less crowds.)
Anyhow, it sunk in you may be leaving in August!!! I sure hope that is not the case and I sure would love to meet up in the next few months just in case. My door in Niigata is always open to you and your family if you ever want to wander over to the Japan Sea coast.

Bryn said...

Thank you so much Lily! She went through a clumsy stage for a while, but that's just because she had legs for *miles*, but other than that, and the crazy hair, which she absolutely hates, she's always been a pretty good lookin' kid! I know what you mean, I shudder when I look at my early teen pix, I still ask my mom "HOW COULD YOU LET ME WALK AROUND LOOKING LIKE THAT???" LOL

Bryn said...

We DO need to get together! I'd love so much to meet you IRL! We haven't been to the west coast yet, so it's definitely on my list!But if we stick around, I'm holding you to that Seoul for the Soul trip ;)

Alisa said...

Aw! Happy Birthday!!!
thye grow so fast! I LOVE the "as she grows pictures!!".

Ive been MIA from blog world, as... a new baby will do that to ya. LOL

Robin Vistnes said...

I love you too Gabi- everything you say about her is true, Slime.
Remember I get her if you croak before she's 18- I'm not pushing it or anything, I'm just reminding.
She is so cute. I have several of those pics-