Thirteen is better than three.  I know I’m in the minority here but I’m sorry, it’s true.

While trying to weather K’s three year old tantrums, I was terrified of thirteen.  The nastiness, the sullenness.  If I thought three was hard, how could I possibly survive thirteen?

We’re nine months in at this point and we’re doing okay.  Don’t get me wrong.  As my dad used to say, “It’s not all steak and ice cream.”  K has been known to roll an eye or two.  On more than one occasion, I have been accused of ruining her life.  There have been several homework incidents that have ended with stomping up the stairs to her room.  I have been known to channel my mom’s voice with an incredulous response of “who do you think you are?” to said stomping.  Yeah, it’s not any more effective now than it was when my mom was saying it.

And, there’s certainly stuff I miss about three.  How her face would light up like the brightest star when I picked her up at pre-school.  How she would run to me squealing “Mama!” whenever I returned, no matter how long I’d been gone.  How this whirling dervish of a child could sit forever snuggled next to me while I read to her.

But… I like thirteen better.  I realized this a few weekends ago.  K and I were heading home from a performance of The Nutcracker and the Glee version of “Defying Gravity” came on the radio.  She suggested we sing the duet.  She’d sing Rachel’s part and I could have Kurt’s.  Inside, I thought “Seriously?  You’re asking me to sing with you?” but my reply was “Sure!”  So there we were, driving down the Mass Pike belting out the tune at the top of our lungs.

“Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game”

I stumbled on a few of the verses.  I didn’t go near that high F at the end.  But, we sounded okay.

Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

“Again?” she asked.  “Absolutely!” I replied.

I’m through accepting limits
cause someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I’ll never know!

Now, any time we’re alone in the car for any distance, we sing Defying Gravity.  I don’t think we’re ready for a spot on any of the singing reality shows but we think we sound great.  I’m sure there’ll come a time when I’ll suggest it and K will roll her eyes and that will be the end.  But for now, we may be pulling apart but we still have a way to find our way back.

I’d sooner buy Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye I’m defying gravity
And you can’t pull me down!”