Hard to imagine that thirteen years ago today this happened:
Today you become a teen. You’re at one of the first real crossroads of your life. The place between childhood and womanhood. This is a scary place to be, full of choices and changes. Embrace them, make your mistakes now – when it’s relatively safe to do so.
I’ll be there to help you pick up the pieces. I know that you don’t want me around all of the time anymore, and that’s okay. I cherish the times you still need me to help you in whatever capacity, and promise to listen with an open heart whenever you need to vent.
I know that you feel as though you know everything right now. You’re right. You do. You know the important things. You know to be kind to others. You look out for your friends and even some of your enemies.
What you may not know, though, is when someone isn’t always being honest with you. You’ll learn that along the way. You’ll figure out how to tell who a real friend is. Always tell the truth, in the most tactful way possible. The “sting” of getting into trouble for a truth is always less than the pain of getting caught in a lie.
You will never know how deeply, purely and completely I love you. You are my little miracle who isn’t so little anymore. You have a beautiful spirit and a kind heart with endless potential for greatness – no matter what path you choose.
My job as your mom is to help you figure out what you love and help and encourage you to reach for the stars. My only wish for you is that whatever path you choose, you follow your heart and be happy.
I admire that you march to the beat of your own drummer, and I hope you continue to do so as you get older. It’s so much better to be happy and content in a small select group (or even solo) than it is to feel empty, lonely and insignificant in a large noisy crowd. Make your own noise. Follow your own path.
Be sure to do something every day that makes you happy. Do the things you love, and you’ll find that the things you don’t love as much (but still need to be done), will come more easily. We’re all human and all make mistakes – the important thing is that you learn from those mistakes.
Always be kind, and laugh often. The older you get, the more you’ll realize life’s sadness and happiness. Be grateful for your blessings and enjoy them, but don’t forget to help others less fortunate, because to whom much is given, much is expected.
Be proud of yourself. Never stop learning, but enjoy your accomplishments, big or small. If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will. Show the world what you’ve got to offer, which is a lot!
I’m as ready as I’ll ever be to watch you finish your time here in childhood. All I ask is that you don’t rush through it. You still have a few good years of being a “kid” left in you. Don’t chase it away. Don’t rush into being an adult. You have the rest of your life to do that. Take it slow. Enjoy the journey.
Let the games begin.
Love you to the moon and stars, bouncing around the Milky Way and back again, to infinity and beyond!