As of writing this, you’re 13 and have been for a few weeks now. You’re annoyed that it’s taken me so long to write this, but girl, you know as well as I do that it’s been a summer. But that’s just an excuse because I’m still in denial that you’re 13. I mean, you’re my baby and the fact that you’re this old is mind boggling to me. You’ve heard me say countless times that I adore parenting older kids but that doesn’t mean I want you to grow up at warp speed.
But enough about me, your birthday is about you and you, my child, are amazing. You are smart, and funny, and quiet and loud and animated and reserved. You are ridiculously self-contained and you force me to be a better mother and person on a daily basis. You challenge me, my decisions, and my beliefs and there are days when I wish you were easier while marveling a minute later over how astounding you are.
So 12 was a crazy year, right? You moved to 7th grade which meant a new school allllll during Covid. You started out the year going to school full time, but after a series of never-ending quarantines, you transitioned to fully remote in January. You managed to avoid getting Covid when Dad, Scorch and I got it, but you did manage to get it 5 months later. You can never be simple, can you? 😉 Thankfully we all recovered relatively quickly with no long term side effects.
You took to remote learning like a duck to water- your grades were out of this world and you managed your schedule and to-do’s like a boss. I never had to worry about you when it came to school, I wish I had half your organizational skills. You also played basketball, a sport you’ve loved for years, and volleyball, a new-to-you sport. You excelled in both, made some new friends and challenged yourself which is all I can ask from you. Honestly, girl, you’ve done great this past year. You’ve shown grace during some really crappy situations, rolled with a lot of punches and grew more into who you are as a person. Have I mentioned lately that I adore you?
Now you’re 13 and getting ready to start 8th grade. Hopefully you’ll be in school, full time, with your friends that you missed all last year. Here’s what I hope for you, my wild child, as we enter this new year:
- I hope you continue to hold on hard to who you are. Don’t break for anyone. You may have to bend a little – everyone does – but hold true to who you are and screw anyone who doesn’t like it.
- I hope you hold tight to your friends. Your two BFFs are crazy in the best way and I hope you 3 continue to support and love each other fiercely.
- I hope you make new friends. Two BFFs are amazing, but you can never have too many friends. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, give new people a chance and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Is that scary? Yup. Is it worth it? 100%
- I hope you do something that scares you. Play a new sport. Join the drama club. Take a new elective. The world is getting bigger for you, embrace it, child.
- I hope you are kind. You, my girl, are a little scary. Quiet, self-contained girls in middle school always are – and that’s fine. You don’t have to change who you are, but I do ask that you be kind to others. Give people grace, have a sense of humor and be nice.
- I hope you remember that your brother is your life-long best friend. Is he annoying? Yes. Does he smell? Yes. But he adores you and while you’re on the same school campus, lean into that. Love him hard and he’ll do the same.
- I hope you know your worth. You deserve to be treated with respect and consideration – always. Don’t settle for anything else in any relationship.
Most of all, child, I hope you know how amazing you are. Because you truly, truly are. Smart, passionate, funny- you’re a blessing to our family, the piece that made it complete and one of my greatest joys. Know that we will always love you, always be your safe spot and that we are so proud of the woman you’re growing into.
All my love,