Riley was more excited about my birthday than I was. She had friends of hers sign a card for me. She wrote a birthday message that I will cherish. She showered me with hugs and kisses. She spent the whole weekend devoted to ensuring my happiness.
She's so wonderful. She's so full of love. Whenever I want a hug, she's right there. Her love is so pure, she brings me to life in a way I never thought possible. And she's just so happy. She can't stay in a bad mood for long; she's just not made for it. Whenever we hug (and we hug a lot), the rest of the world just fades away. She's pure bliss.
Sylvia is growing into her own in the most beautiful way. Last year was so tough. She was consumed with fitting in, and it broke my heart to see her put so much of her self-worth into others.
She's not that girl anymore.
She has devoted this year to doing what she loves and doing it as well as she possibly can. She's been singled out by three separate adults in the past few weeks on how amazing she is. And she doesn't let it get to her, either. Instead, it just reinforces to her that she's on the right path and she keeps going.
Her friendships are stronger, too, because of it. She's grown closer to friends that respect and admire her for who she is. She's confident in her own skin now, and she hasn't had nearly as many problems with Mean Girls because of that. They just can't mess with her head anymore.
And our relationship is stronger. She hugs me more (in public, even!), she says she loves me more, and we talk more. Whether it's chatting or really talking, we're closer. I feel close to my 13 year old.
Watching them grow is hard. There's no turning back now. Sylvia will be in high school and Riley in middle school in a matter of months. They're just not little anymore.
But it's hard to get too sad about it because I'm so loving what wonderful young ladies they're becoming.