This is our girl. We had no idea what we were getting into. I was nineteen when she was born and I didn't do any of the work. it wasn't until I was older that she came to us.
My sister was changing her life and she needed to move and Nic didn't want to go and my sister asked me if I would look after her.
Me? You sure you want me? You want me to be responsible for a teenager? But how can one say no? That first moment when my sister was gone and she walked in the door, all the responsibilities hit me. How the hell do you people do this from the time they're born?
It's not like we didn't know each other - Nic was always my child - my sister just birthed her for me. I used to go and get her on the weekends and we would just hang. When my other sister asked me to come to Maryland and stay with her kids while she and her husband were away, I took Nic with me and we explored Washington DC. We sat in the park and fed birds out of the palms of our hands. We took the Metro to the Smithsonian (most of it.) We both saw the White House for the first time together.
But this was a little different. I was responsible for her. I couldn't just be the fun one. There were rules and boundaries and when the time came to discipline her. Well, thank God, it was just one big time she did something that completely crossed the line with me. Both Mr. Honey and I decided we needed to deal with it so when she walked in the door, he did exactly what I expected - he went upstairs to hide. She's been his kid for fifteen years.
She's provided us with some hilarious moments: like when she got a speeding ticket and wanted to go to court to fight it. She wanted the judge to know she was speeding - just not as fast as the officer said.
She went to college at some design institute and needed help with her homework assignments. We went to the zoo, we went through some of my old photographs - OK, I basically did her homework for her. And the professor sent her a note saying her assignments had become very creative.
She changed colleges every year and after about three years of that, I told her she had to graduate from whatever school was next. DePaul. Not too shabby. Then she went on the get her Master's. She's a Phoenix.
And proud moments. I was very proud of her when she did go to court for another reason. There was a serial killer/rapist running around the Chicago area and he held a gun to her head in her backyard and robbed her. This guy murdered his male victims and raped the female victims and somehow she escaped that but she held herself together when she was on the stand and when the defense attorney said to her: "He didn't hurt you." She was very firm when she said, "Not physically."
That's my girl.
Not being known for her patience or her tact, we were surprised when she said she was going to be a grade school teacher. I'm still surprised at that. When she said she was moving to Seattle, Mr. Honey wanted to write to Congress and get the western half of the United States declared foreign territory. When she said she was driving with a friend out there, we set such strict rules that we thought she wouldn't go. instead, she just followed the rules. Like call us every three to four hours. Let us know where you are when you stop.
She called to say they had just left Buddy.
"The city; Buddy."
"You're going to teach kids?"
You could have wiped us off the floor with a towel when she left and Mr. Honey worried about her every mile of the way though he tried to be really cool about it. He taught her how to take care of her finances and the day she called him her other Dad you'd of thought he was a body builder the way his chest poked out.
She's all settled in her town and her job. She has friends and hobbies and is enjoying herself. I haven't told her I have the premonition that she will be a wife and mother in a couple of years - she doesn't read the blog so I'm not worried she'll find out from me.
The important things are that she's healthy and happy and we didn't mess her up in those formative teen years.
And today is her birthday.