There. I said it.
And yes, I can tell you she's beautiful, that I hear it from others frequently, that anytime I show or post a picture everyone remarks on just how gorgeous she is.
I can also tell you how smart and funny and kind and patient she is with her younger brother. I could point out that many people have told me they were surprised by her level of maturity. She never has been a screechy, giggly sort.
Of course, I could tell you she fights with her brother until my eye starts twitching and she's screamed until the veins stood out in her head when I took her phone away for being disrespectful, too. She is thirteen, after all.
And therein lies the problem. My daughter isn't just pretty. She's hot.
Hot as in, she has the face (and body, God help me) of a Victoria's Secret model and long, gorgeous honey-blonde hair that frames that exquisite face. She's nearly as tall as me, and it's mostly leg.
She's pretty much had that whole package since she was twelve. Trust me when I say a weekend at the beach is an exercise in parental patience. I don't fault men for looking - she looks like she's twenty-five, after all - but I stand at the ready to intercede if any of them get brave enough to hit on her. Luckily, she's quick to nip that stuff in the bud. She sees their attention, and most of the time it either amuses or annoys her.
"I'm thirteen, Mom," she'll say, rolling her eyes at me. "That guy was like, in college or something."
Attention noted, but not acknowledged.That makes me feel marginally better.
And then we went to that amusement park. The park had a really cool show - a diving show, complete with trick dives and audience splashing. We took a seat just above the splash zone, about 6 rows up on the one side. There were 5 different divers, four guys and a girl. They were all fit (of course) and a couple of the guys were cute.
And then he took his dive. He surfaced out of the pool not far from us, and DAY-um. I felt like a dirty, dirty broad for looking at this guy the way I did. I am old enough to be his mama, I really am. He was twenty something-ish, and according to his bio (as read by the emcee of the show), he's a professional stuntman who was doing this show for the summer.
Did I mention he was gorgeous? Anna gave me a nudge in the ribs and I nudged back and we both smiled and enjoyed the rest of the
Anna and I decided to wait for the crowd to disperse, and there was a group of older people filing by hot stunt guy, so he took a moment to glance around.
And then....zip. The eyes hesitated, shifted back, stopped.
The eyebrows went up, the smile started slow and crinkled his eyes, and the slight nod said "Oh, hi there, hot girl. What a nice surprise to see you."
And this time, hot girl actually flushed, and gave a slight nod back. We got to our feet, and headed for the exit, and Anna was strangely not interested in discussing that interaction.
We didn't see him again, because we left shortly after. Even Anna admitted that he took her completely by surprise.
"You always tell me guys are looking, Mom, but it wasn't like that," she said. "He was kinda...obvious. But not in a creepy way."
And that, guys (if any of you are reading this) was the secret. He simply appreciated her looks, smiled, and didn't push it. I'm sure if she'd gone up to him afterward, he would have loved to have chatted more, but Anna, as always, is more than aware that she's thirteen, and he's not.
And lucky for me, she's in no hurry to not be. Or to pretend she isn't.
Well, for now anyway. She will be older someday. And someone's bound to notice her, and she's bound to notice back. This is how the game is played, after all. I can only keep the dialogue going, and hope she stays spunky enough to insist that he sees the whole package, while she looks past the pretty face herself.
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