I look back on Amber's 26 years...
I remember how impatient she was to grow up. By the time she was in 3rd grade, she was getting herself up and ready for school on time. I remember when one of her friends changed schools because of a bullying problem, and I asked her about it- of course she was the smallest in her class- and she laughed and and said "Mom, I am the bullies worst nightmare!" I remember how she always thought about what I said, and how she always gave in to my puppy dog face and whimpers when I wanted her to do something.
I used to say that there was no joy like a ticklish child- in the letter she wrote me in high school, she said she could have stopped being ticklish years before, but she knew it would disappoint me, and we had such fun. She would "EEEP!" when you tickled her unawares- Zach (her first boyfriend) was quite entranced when he discovered he could eeep her.
I remember nervous times- gymnastics is not a sport for the faint of heart- getting called to the gym because she slipped and went under the horse instead of over it, or missed the high bar and fell on her neck... taking her to the emergency room and the doctor being impressed by her stoicism as he noted the probably cracked ribs and other contusions- and when she left, he tried to shake her hand, and she winced away. He looked at her and she said, "Don't ask". She had stoved 2 fingers.
What she wanted, she worked for with her whole heart. Her self will and determination were awesome. She was only a gymnast for 5 years, yet she was the level 9 all around PA state champion for 16 and older at the end of her junior year- she loved it, and she gave it up because architecture was more important, and she was realist enough to know she couldn't do both. That summer we started looking at colleges, and a lot of them wanted a portfolio. She hadn't taken art since middle school. Shading was mystery to her- that summer I taught her basic drawing, shading, perspective- now it is her art I hope to sell to benefit her scholarship fund.
Dredge as I might, there are no negatives. No drama, no fights- even going back- and back. She was always there for me, and she knew I was always there for her.