I don't remember how she got the nickname, but it has stuck. The amazing thing to me is that she doesn't mind. Even though every little thing that I do that garners attention embarrasses her, I can scream out "MONKEY!!!!" to her and she doesn't mind.
The monkey I am referring to is Marissa - my stepdaughter who turned thirteen today.
I told each of the kids that I was going to post specifically about them on their birthdays, so here is Marissa's.
Marissa is at that weird age...not quite a young woman, but no longer a little girl. What is so great about Marissa is that when she isn't worried about what others are thinking - she is amazingly fun. She can laugh and carry on with the best of them...and she has a great sense of humor, which adds to the fun.
She is very athletic, too - probably the most naturally gifted of all the kids. Although she doesn't cheer or tumble anymore, she was amazing. She easily could have been a gymnast. She plays volleyball now, and is naturally good. She would be excellent at basketball, too, if she liked to play.
Ultimately, however, the best way to evaluate how special Marissa is is to look that the company keeps. She has excellent friends, which tells me that she is excellent in return. I know that because I see glimpses of it when she isn't being moody or selfish. She has a wonderful heart and it is reflected in the friends with which she surrounds herself.
As she matures, I hope and pray that her awesome heart continues to shine and that she continues to be happy in all that she does.
Happy Birthday, Marissa. I love you.