When I was... thirteen, my mother was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old woman around. But when I got to be twenty one, I was astonished at how much she had learned in eight years." ~
Author unknown, commonly attributed to Mark Twain.
This week my teeny-tiny, darling, little baby daughter turned thirteen years old.
The mango salsa is served over a plate of cod fish.
Well, she's as tall as I am, not as darling as she used to be, and is no longer a baby. I still call her "baby girl". She doesn't like this.
She is still quite darling; but, there are little instances of teenager type personality traits sneaking into her usually charming disposition.
For example, she does not like to cuddle... at all. She no longer returns a hug properly. Instead, her arms sort of hang there behind the person she's "hugging".
Mango salsa can be served over Cod (or any white fish):
Time: 10 minutes
4 pieces of cod
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 slices of lime
3 mangoes, cubed
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
juice of three limes
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon cumin
(add a jalapeno, diced, if you want it spicy)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the cod on a baking tray. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Squeeze lime juice (from one of the limes) over each piece of fish. Place a slice of lime on each piece of fish.
Mix the remaining ingredients together in a bowl. Set in the refrigerator until the fish is finished cooking. Once you place the fish on the plates, scoop the mango salsa over the top of the fish. I served this with a side of quinoa. You can serve it with rice or potatoes if you prefer.
She is especially annoyed if I brush the hair out of her eyes or try to hold her hand.
I pretty much can't touch her. Also, her tone, when responding to a question, has taken on an air of sarcasm that is not meant to be funny. Finally, this is by far the most bothersome change, she no longer considers me to be a cool mom. I know, shocking!
Well, if this is all I have to deal with for the teenage years ahead of us, I consider myself a very lucky person indeed. I can take this stuff, no problem. Thankfully, Daphne has retained her compassion for all of her friends, family, and people in general. She makes me laugh every day and brightens up any room with her smile. She is still witty, smart, and passionate about causes that are dear to her heart. Her singing fills my life with joy. She is kind to everyone she meets and always welcoming to every single person she sees. She loves to help the underdog whenever she can. She volunteers with me whenever possible. I know, in several years to come when she returns to her senses, I will once again reign as the cool mom. I can wait for that. I am an extremely patient person.
So, what do you think I had in mind for her special birthday? What would I do to commemorate the end of an era and to ring in the new years of teenager-hood for someone I love so dearly? Well, I cooked all of her favorite things, of course. I woke up before everyone else and made a large batch of crepes. I filled them with Nutella and walked up to her room with a platter full while singing happy birthday. I brought Jack in and let the two of them enjoy crepes together in their jim-jams. Oh yeah, I'm not allowed to call them "jim-jams" anymore. These are called "pajamas" now.
Later in the day, I decided to make her a lunch she would enjoy. Daphne absolutely loves mangoes and she adores fish. So, Claud came up with the idea of making her a white fish with a mango salsa. I whipped up an easy lunch of cod with a mango salsa for her to eat. I added avocados, cilantro, red onion and lime juice. It turned out so great! We all ate it (except for Jack) and really loved it. I kept scooping on more and more salsa as I ate the fish...everyone did.
We had a few friends over for dinner. I made her favorite appetizers: mozzarella sticks and ranch dip with chips. There wasn't too much involved in those as the dip came from a packet and the mozzarella sticks were frozen. Sometimes, it's nice to throw in some easy stuff into the mix. Then, we ate spinach and ricotta manicotti. I wanted a dinner that was vegetarian; but, would still be enjoyed by all of the non-vegetarians in the room. Manicotti was the answer because everyone loved it. Gautam brought us his delicious fried rice.
For dessert, my dad made her a chocolate cake. I made an apple pie with homemade ice cream. The ice cream was literally cream by the time we ate the pie. It didn't turn into actual ice cream until the following morning. It still tasted yummy as cream (or so I was told). I just cannot seem to get a handle on making desserts.
At the end of the night, Daphne was very full and happy...and officially a teenager. I was full, tired, and proud to be Daphne's mother. We sat out by the bonfire late at night when Daphne told me that she asked for Gautam's fried rice as a birthday present. I loved that she would ask for food as a gift. She is growing up to be like me. I always want food for my birthday. Don't tell her that, though. She won't appreciate hearing anything like this for at least eight years...if ever.