When I first met her, she was 6. She knocked on my parent's door and introduced herself. Without hesitation, she came into the house, sat down and announced that she and my mother would be grand friends. She talked without breathing for about half an hour. My mom was immediately taken with her. And, while she could talk the hind leg off a donkey, it is hard not to be.
She just turned 13 and has fully entered the teenage phase. Her conversations are still rapid but now they are punctuated by harrumphs, dramatic flopping into chairs and eye rolling. She makes me miss being a teen when I knew everything about everything, but also want to apologize to everyone who was confronted with my attitude.
She is incredibly thoughtful and kind - to everyone who is not her brother (and at times her mother). She is very sensitive - to people's feelings and to the things people say and do around her. At times, I worry for how gentle she is and at other times I am proud to know such a brave girl who is now becoming a young woman.