Dearest Bean-

Happy 14th birthday! Yes, yes, you did turn 14 a while ago and yes, it has taken me *this* long to post this. I promise you that’s not a reflection of my love for you – just a reflection of the chaos that is summer round these parts.

Because you, my darling girl, are loved beyond measure. You were our missing piece- the part that made our family complete and now, now you’re 14.

13 was a good, scary year for you. You went back to school in person full time in 8th grade- the first time that’s happened since 6th grade. You were much more cool about it than I thought you’d be, to be honest. I think I was more nervous than you were. It took you a little while to find your footing. Middle school is strange under normal circumstances, and this existing-in-Covid world is anything but normal.

But you quickly found a group that included your BFFs and a few more people. You grew more confident and you got into a groove. You may never love school, but you didn’t dread it and you had friends everywhere you went. You played a couple of sports, you passed all your classes with flying colors, you went to your first semi-formal dance and you made us all stupidly proud of you.

The Bean, aged 1 year old, wearig a grey zip up hoodie, staring up with big brown eyes and a small smile on her face.

And now you’re 14 and you’re going to be a freshman in high school. And my mind is blown because I’m pretty sure you were just a terror of a toddler yesterday. But nope, you’re now a solid 2 inches taller than I am, poised and collected and just as funny now as you were back then.

Here are my wishes for you this year:

– I hope you learn to take up space and use your voice. At home, you’re loud and funny and confident – I hope this is the year you let the rest of the world in. Because, girl, you’re amazing and that much amazingness should be shared with all.

– I hope you keep loving your BFFs. You are friends with some funny, intelligent, amazing ladies- keep ’em close and nurture those friendships.

– I hope you expand your group. Honestly, you can never have too many friends. So keep giving others a chance to surprise you. The quiet ones. The loud ones. The odd ones. Be open to all the great people out there.

– I hope you keep your astounding sense of self. I have never met a kid more sure of who she is as a person. Don’t let anyone erode that or steal that from you. That sense of confidence is a game changer.

– I hope you know how amazing you are. Loving yourself – your whole self – in a society that always tells you that you should be different or more is hard. It’s difficult not to compare and find yourself wanting. But, Bean, don’t. Just don’t – who you are is a wondrous, funny, smart, wicked person. You, exactly as you are this very minute, are perfect.

So, child of mine. Know that you are loved. Know that you are appreciated. Know that you are perfect – and have the best year ever. I’m so happy that you’re mine.

I love you,


About Heather

I adore my family, writing, books, cats, lazy mornings in bed, and chocolate. I'll never say no to breakfast for dinner, long talks with friends and lazy summer days at the pool with family. My life is often crazy, always awesome and one I'm so happy to be living! My side hustle is editing and proofing work. Find out more at https://heathercaryn.com/

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