I know my kids. I know them better than anyone. I can tell you exactly what they'll do, when they'll do it and how they will react. I know what to say to calm them down, to encourage them to do something, or to stop whatever they are doing.
Well, at least I used to.
That's the hard part about kids growing up. One day you are forced to realize that they are their own people. No matter how much they are like you - they aren't you. They will do things differently and feel differently and think differently.
And it is beautiful to watch.
Ella is my girl. She is a lot like me. She is competitive, caring, independent, and can argue like a lawyer. But she is different too. And more than any of my other kids, she surprises me.
Most nights when I think back on the day, I am in total awe of her. I wonder how our relationship will grow and change, a momma and her only girl.
She was scared to go to Kindergarten, I know she was. But she never cried, not a tear the night before, not a sob into my shoulder while she was getting dressed, and not even a quiver of the lip as she climbed the steps onto the bus. To say that I was shocked is an understatement.
I guessed wrong and she showed me. I know it won't be the last time.
And I learned a lesson, I won't underestimate her again.
It was another day I was filled to the tippity top with pride and awe and wonder of my girl.