Yet, when it comes to me and her mom, she's far less expressive. She doesn't offer much. We're always asking her about things. And, she's polite, but often shrugs or offers monosyllabic answers. This has been going on for two or three years now. We love Riley to death, and we know she loves us, as well, but she just rarely shows it.
So, when I start to feel down about how she no longer snuggles up to me, and tells me she loves me, and wants to tell me all about her day, I remember back to a class assignment she had last year, when she was sixteen (caught up in her social circles then as she is now). One of the questions of the assignment was: "Describe an important person in your life and why they are important to you."
She had shared the assignment with me once it had been graded and returned. I go back to this whenever I start to miss my "little girl". She wrote:
"An important person in my life is my dad for a variety of reasons. My dad is the reason I was able to start my charity, begin my business and stay so motivated. When I was little, my dad introduced me to the things I could be doing in the community and found me an overwhelming amount of opportunities. I am where I am today because of his support and help. My dad is my number one fan and he is right by my side, cheering me on in everything I do."
I hold on to this, because a year ago I wondered if she still needed me, and appreciated me, like I do at times today. This proved that she did, and it makes me feel good to think that she still does. Teens may not show their appreciation, but apparently they still feel it.
image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/lenifuzhead/64070148