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Cyrus’ advice worked. I think I really got through to Lyra during our talk. I waited until the next morning so the both of us would have enough time to calm down and that really helped. With clear heads we were both able to express our thoughts calmly. I explained to her my views on woohoo and how I felt she should wait until the right person comes along because it’s more special when know that person loves you and you love them. I even told her how Cyrus and I waited until we were engaged to consummate our relationship even though we dated for a really long time before that. She thought I was lying at first but when she realised I was telling the truth I think she started liking the idea of waiting for someone special.

2302

I don’t have to worry about Julian anymore since his time here in Oasis Springs was up and he would be returning to Windenburg this evening. She lied so she could meet him at the arcade because she wanted to say goodbye to him. Once I heard that I changed my mind about grounding her for a month and instead gave her extra chores for the next two weeks.

She was very grateful but I also let her know that she’s still not allowed to have boyfriends until after high school and she didn’t have a problem with that. She said that during her time dating Julian he was too clingy for her liking and if he wasn’t going back home she would have broken up with him anyway.

We both apologised to the other for how we behaved and our relationship has been great ever since. Lyra even told me how much she liked talking to me about this stuff. I’ve never felt closer to my daughter than I did at that moment and in a way it was like a dream come true of mine because now I get to have the relationship with her that I never had with my own mother.

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Now that Lyra is no longer focusing on boys, she’s been putting a lot of effort into her studies and her hobbies. Those piano lessons we spent a fortune on when she was little paid off. Lyra is so talented that I know one day she will be famous in the music industry. She still has that dream of becoming a pop star. She says she wants to be the Alicia Keys of Oasis Springs. With her talent and confidence, I know she will do just that.

2305

Right on the heels of dealing with one teenager, my youngest was now about to become one.

Maia’s birthday came and deep down I was dreading what she would be like as a teenager.

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But before I could worry about that, it was my turn to blow out the candles and join my husband in senior citizen land.

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The grey hair and back aches would take some time to get used to but other than that I felt fine entering this new stage in my life.

Isabel came over the next day and we both freaked out when we saw each other! She didn’t come to my birthday party because her husband and sons planned a birthday dinner for her at a restaurant out in Newcrest so that day was the first time we saw each other as elders.

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Jo probably saw us talking from her house across the street so she decided to come over. She began rubbing in the fact that she was still young and vibrant as though she wasn’t going to look like us in a few days when she would have to celebrate her birthday.

2311

Almost as soon as Maia aged up she found herself in the kitchen whipping up a batch of sugar cookies. She’s always been something of a foodie as a child as she was the one most excited to go out to restaurants and was always watching the cooking channel instead of cartoons like her older siblings.

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And she’s really good at it!

And not just when it comes to baking but she makes some excellent quality dishes. She definitely learned some skills from watching the cooking channel but it also seems like she’s just naturally gifted with an ability to produce great flavours. I mean, she can make something as simple as a sugar cookie taste like the best thing you could ever put in your mouth!

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The best part about having a daughter who loves cooking is that we no longer have to worry about what to eat for dinner because she’ll make something fabulous that we all enjoy. Cyrus and I don’t have much cooking skills so when we don’t order take out or go out to eat we end up making sandwiches, salads and mac cheese for lunch and dinner. Maia is so talented though that she makes our mac and cheese taste like garbage compared to hers. I don’t know what her secret ingredient is but her mac and cheese is so decadent and well seasoned. She’s also started trying some gourmet recipes like garlic noodles and pasta primavera which I think can put the best Italian chef in the world to shame because it tastes so amazing!

2314

Maia is already talking about owning a restaurant one day but before that she plans on going to culinary school and take some business courses so she can not only have an amazing menu but also be able to manage the business properly.

I like that she’s so focused on her future plans already. After what I went through with Lyra, it’s nice to not have another boy-crazy daughter on my hands and yet I wondered if she was even interested in dating since she never brought the topic up. Maia was just as beautiful as her older sister so I knew there had to be boys at her school who were interested in dating her and she confirmed that there were but she only had eyes for one in particular.

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He was her good friend Luca Patino. She had known him since elementary school and I remember having to drop her over to his house for many play dates when they were younger. He was a really nice young man but after what happened between Lyra and Julian I was hesitant to allow her to date him but then she informed me that I didn’t have to worry about that because she wasn’t going to date him.

“Why not?” I asked her. “You seem to really like him a lot. I see the way you look when you talk about him.”

“Well…he…likes someone else.”

“Oh. Did he tell you that?” I asked. “Because if you’re just assuming he likes someone else without having facts then it could be in your head.” I learned that lesson a long time ago to not make assumptions when it comes to matters of the heart. I nearly missed out on being with the love of my life a long time ago because I did just that.

2317

“No. I know for sure he likes someone else.” She paused and then took a deep breath. Her expression was suddenly a little sad. “I saw them kissing. They’re involved.”

“And he didn’t tell you? You guys are supposed to be friends so why wouldn’t he tell you he was dating someone?”

“I think it’s because of who she is…”

I waited for her to tell me the other girl’s name and then I finally asked, “Well, who is it?”

“Um…just a friend of mine…from school. You don’t know her.” She said quickly.

2318

I figured there was more to the story than she was willing to share so I didn’t push. I could tell she was really disappointed about the fact that Luca liked someone else so I decided to leave it be. I did think it was strange that I didn’t know this friend of hers since I thought I met all of Maia’s school friends. Perhaps Lyra knew her too since she and Maia hang out a lot together especially now that Maia is in high school and Lyra is no longer allowed to date.

“I’m over it. It doesn’t bother me anymore. If they like each other then I’m happy for them. Right now I’m thinking about entering a cooking competition and I really hope you and Dad let me try out for it.”

2319

“A cooking competition?”

“Yeah, you have competitors from different cities all competing for a scholarship to the Jared Frio Culinary Institute! I just need to get an application form and fill it out and then I’m sure I’ll get picked!”

“That’s great honey but you know you don’t need this competition if you want to go to culinary school. Our family has more than enough money to pay for the tuition.”

“I know but it’ll give me a chance to compete in something I’m good at and it’ll give me some bragging rights for sure if I win!”

“It will certainly give me some bragging rights if you win.” I joked. “My daughter, a master chef! That has a nice ring to it.”

2320

Between one daughter who wanted to be a musician and singer and the other who wanted to be a chef and restaurant owner, I think Cyrus and I did pretty well so far in raising our girls. With Maia now becoming a teen, the time had come for me to pick which one of them will be the new heiress. It was a task I really didn’t want to do but it had to be done. They were both very smart, capable young women thus far and as proud as I was of the two of them, that only made the decision making process more difficult.

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