Last night, Janey, Daddy and I had the probably ill-conceived idea of ordering Thai take-out from a town four towns over, on a rainy and traffic-filled evening. You were up for it, because you are always up for a ride in the car. You were excited just to be going someplace with your parents. That's not something every twelve year old girl would be, my sweetie.
I did your hair while Daddy ordered. I put it in strange Pippi Longstocking braids, because it's so thick and curly that braids stand out to the side. Then I clipped them together on top. It looked very elegant on you, Janey, but then again, you always look beautiful. I told you how lovely you looked, and you admired yourself in the mirror. You aren't going through that stage a lot of girls do, where you put yourself down. You know you are beautiful. I love that about you.
In the car, we got caught in traffic. But you didn't care, because we were listening to music. I was using my Slacker Radio app to find many, many versions of "King of the Road", a song you love and I love and my parents loved growing up and in fact a lot of people growing up liked, because it mentions Bangor, Maine, and not many songs growing up ever seemed to know Maine existed. You don't love it for that. You love it for the beat, the rhythm, the pacing, whatever it is that makes you able to pick out great songs and enjoy them. When the versions I played strayed too far from the original, you said "Music, please, music!" letting me know that I wasn't playing Music with a capital M. You know what you like, and you have great taste. You mostly like the Roger Miller version and the Randy Travis one, and those are the best, I agree.
On the way back, we played another song you love---"If I Were a Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof. There, I found a version by a woman with a Cyrillic name, a jazzy version without words, instead just repeating the "dabba dabba dabba do" type scat to the tune all the way through. It's something I would have never listened to, but you loved it and asked for it over and over. By the third time, I liked it pretty well too, and so did Daddy. You aren't influenced by anyone else. You like what you like, and that is great. We all moved to the beat in the car, driving in the dark and rain, our own little world.
At home, you tried all the Thai food, because you always try everything. You are an adventurous eater, far more than I am. We watched "Family Feud" on the old game show channel, and you didn't object or cry for your own shows. I think you're even getting to like Richard Dawson. Without us really noticing, you are gradually allowing Daddy and me to do the things we enjoy more and more. You are growing up.
When you were tired, you said "Snuggle on Mama's bed?" which is what you say every night. Mama's bed is actually your bed, but we know what you mean. I lay down with you as you played a little iPad and then fell asleep. It was your usual bedtime, around seven. You sleep when you are tired, and you are usually a good sleeper. Daddy and I stayed awake about another hour, and then we went to sleep too. You're a morning person, like your father and William.
Janey, I know it's very unlikely you'll read this. You can't read, and if I read it to you, I don't know if you'd understand most of it or not. And that doesn't matter. That doesn't make you less interesting, or beautiful, or opinionated, or cool. I won't pretend it is always easy helping you live the best life you can. It is hard, a lot of times. I won't lie and say I don't wish sometimes life would be easier for you, or for us. But you are one incredible kid. I love you, Janey.