The oldest niece Hannah is preparing to leave home to go to college. This reminds us that Lydia is not that far behind, and in only four precious years she, too, will be leaving our nest.
Lydia is so very genuine. What you see is what you get. There is no faking it, no hiding behind fancy clothes, text messages, or make-up. No sense in extra "fluff" in a relationship. When she makes a phone call to a friend here in Colombia, we have to prompt her to "be flowery" in order to maintain Colombian social graces. For her, it does not come naturally.
Gifts were perfect this year: a new fountain pen, journal, monster flash drive, cash, gift card for comfortable clothing, and a new camera.
On her birthday, we celebrated with a delicious lunch hosted by our sweet friends, Neil and Elizabeth, with another sweet friend from MCC who was visiting.
Then, I convinced her that maybe she should consider inviting some friends for an outing. Considering the social difficulties we faced this year, maybe I should not have made the suggestion, but she agreed and invited a few friends to go bowling.
Honestly, I was pretty nervous. As a mother in a 14 year old social setting I was constantly evaluating myself:
Am I talking too much?
Should I say more?
Did that sound stupid?
Should I speak in English or Spanish?
Did I just embarrass her?
Am I sitting too close?
Should I be sitting closer?
How do I look?
Should I really be bowling in this lane beside them?
Am I being too loud?
And then, I remembered.
This is what it is like to socialize in a 14 year old setting.
The eight year olds were just fine, however...
I learned that it WAS acceptable for the mother to bring a candle into the restaurant to put in the crepe to celebrate. It WAS NOT acceptable for the mother to then sing Happy Birthday.
Oh, Lydia, we love you.
Thank you for sharing your real self with us.
I think that very soon you will find friendships that can honor that realness in you, accept you for who you are, and create many new memories for you to cherish.