Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chicago then and now

(Kalila and her dad-my peaceful husband)
     My step-daughter Kalila graduated from Northside College Prep on Monday night.  It was a grand and lengthy event but filled with many tears and memories.  Long ago when I met Kaylee's dad we used to road-trip back and forth to pick her up from her mom's Chicago home. She was already an avid reader-she was reading Julie of the Wolves as an 8 year old.  She didn't really care that I had also read it-years ago.  Now Kaylee drives herself to us-a time-saver-but I worry every trip.  We no longer plan her days, coordinate time with friends-she is a very independent being and soon she will head off to Oberlin in Ohio where she will learn and grow even more.  She already is an exceptional person, an economic whiz, a writer just waiting to be published and a humorous yang to her 15-year-old brother's yin and her little sister's heroine in her own family's story.  

     Kaylee and I had trouble from the beginning forming a relationship and I know this is not unusual but I expecteded it to be different.  I wanted too much and she didn't want anything.  I thought I had things to offer her (the hip stepmother) but again, she was so not interested.  She loved her mom and made it clear there wasn't any extra for me. I wish I had acted more like I didn't matter.  She regretted ever thinking it was a good idea that her dad and I marry.  It was a hard stretch and we generally battled about at least one thing every time she came to visit.  At some point I stopped trying so hard and at some point she hugged me by choice.   She and I have formed, just in the last few years, a more permanent relationship and I feel blessed to be let in just a little bit to this inner love circle.  We both love reading but as I've explored a variety of genres we have crossed over into similar territory.  She turned me on to Sarah Dessen and I gave her the Anna Godbersen series.  

    I look forward to her visits as I know we will find common ground in books, blogs and writing and someday there will be more.  I especially love to watch the relationship expand and change between her and  her two siblings.  Life is ever evolving and we never know what amazing relationships might grow if given the time.   I am so thankful for her wit and wisdom and what she brings to our family.   Congratulations, Kalila!

5 comments:

  1. What a sweet, heartfelt post! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. What a lovely tribute. Glad things have smoothed out over time.

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  3. Congrats; that was lovely and such a nice photo too!

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  4. What a lovely post. I think the relationship you describe is a very very difficult one and one that wouldn't just "happen" easily. I'm glad you both were able to find a way to make it work and find some common ground.

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  5. Yay! Thank you! I always enjoy talking about books with you.
    I'll see you soon for Michigan =]
    -Kaylee

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