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Thursday, February 23, 2012

An open letter to my daughter on the eve of her 13th birthday

Dear Oldest G,

It's that time of the year again. 

The time of the year when I reflect on how fast time really does fly.  The time of the year when I try not to think of all the things I've probably done wrong as we journey through parenthood together.

It's the time of the year when we celebrate the day you came into our lives and changed everything.

At 2:25 a.m. you will officially be a teenager.  I don't think I'm ready.  The thought makes me feel old.  I can't possibly be old enough to have a teenage daughter.  Can I?

While I was certain last February that you would be taller than me come your 13th birthday, I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm just a little bit glad that you're not.  Granted, we are eye level and the likelihood that you grow taller than my 5'2 frame this summer is strong.  For now, I'm holding on tight to that last little reminder that you are my baby.

Those sweet wispy curls are all but gone.  Those chubby cheeks have vanished.  You seldom call me mommy, though every now and then it slips out.  Your voice is no longer childish and is often mistaken for mine.  Sometimes I am bewildered by how quickly your body went from child to young adult. 

It is hard to believe that in five short years you will be leaving for college.  There are so many things that I am looking forward to teaching you and so many things I am afraid of your learning.

I look forward to teaching you to drive, yet I am afraid that once you learn you may no longer want to come back.  I look forward to meeting the boy that wins your heart but fear you may have to have it broken a few times before you find him.  I've imagined your graduation.  I've seen your wedding.  In my mind, I've held your baby.

My advice to you is to savor the little things because that old saying about them being the big things really is true.  Visit the ocean whenever you can.  Put your feet in the sand.  Eat cheesecake.  Laugh as often as possible.  Surround yourself with people who feed your mind and your soul and avoid those who don't. 

Find something you love and learn how to get paid to do it.  If that's not possible, continue to do what you love even if you can't make a living at it. 

Never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.   You might be surprised where that will take you. 

Will you accomplish all you set out to do?  The odds are against that but don't get discouraged.  Maybe what you thought was a wrong turn was just a different path.

Most importantly, always treat others they way you want to be treated, even when they may not be treating you that way.  Remember that you are better than no one and no one is better than you.

All my love,


8 random thoughts:

Pish Posh said...

This is really beautiful. Happy birthday to your daughter. You sound like a lovely mom, I really appreciate those values and we are never too old to learn them.

Wendy said...

Happy Birthday Big G!
If I am old enough to have a teenager and one that is quickly approaching the teenage years, you are most certainly old enough to have a teenager! :)

Jenners said...

Wow … officially a teenager! That is a big milestone. With a mom like you who has such wisdom to share, I'm sure she'll glide through these difficult years with grace!

Pat said...

This is a beautiful letter! And also great advice! Happy birthday to your daughter!

Kristie Maynard said...

I love when you write these letters to your kids. This is a beautiful letter with so much love it is bursting at the seams. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing with us.

Savannah McQueen said...

I am a first time visitor to your site and this letter is perfectly lovely. Thanks for sharing it.

Becca said...

I totally teared up when I read this. I hope that she had an awesome birthday and that she remembers each and everything that you wrote in this letter. You are an amazing mother and she will be one great teenager because of it!

septembermom said...

Beautiful...I love your thoughts on savoring the little things. Wonderful advice for us all. Putting feet in the sand..oh that sounds nice right now.

Happy Birthday to your pretty girl!!

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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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