Anna loves to shop! Internet shopping is okay, but she lives for the mall. Poor Maureen is the opposite and can't stand the mall. She fears the people, the shops, the pretzel stand...well, not the pretzel stand, that's okay in her evaluation. Anna needs things that aren't easily purchased online and her mom knows that means the dreaded mall. She needs a few moments, hours, or even days, to compose herself before grabbing the car keys though.
Anna and her BFF, Lia, spend a lot of time together. Lia totally accepts the differences in Anna's family, sometimes more than Anna can expect. Every tweenager feels their family is "crazy", but Anna has a family who is different than most. She has two special needs brothers, a mom who is often frazzled, and a pretty freshly minted stepdad. Lia accepts those differences and is always there for Anna.
Charlie adores Anna. She is always there to push him on the swing, wipe his face after eating tacos, and tuck him into bed. Specialists call Charlie "non-verbal" but he has utterances and makes word approximations. Every so often, an entire word, or in this case, name, comes out. Anna loves Charlie and Charlie loves Anna.
Why is it that we never get kudos for letting the kids have things they want, but we sure do get the wrath when we don't let them do something? Parenting a 12 year old can be trying, but we always know that they have love underneath, somewhere, right?
Anna has definately taken the path less travelled by her mother, that of a cheerleader. Maureen played middle school sports (badly). But Anna loves cheer, both for the athleticism and the team comaraderie. She is quite the athlele and loves doing cartwheels and being a flyer.
Anna is NOT the only twelve year old with a messy room! We all face this same conversation multiple times a week, don't we? Ahh, parenting!