As I scrolled through pictures looking for one to use for today’s post, I recognized and remembered many of them but I had forgotten about this one. We had traveled with friends to the Outer Banks for a week and spent an evening exploring gigantic sand dunes. This was you at this age, ready to go and hard to hold back. You had a wide open space to run and you were ready to go.
As I think about what to say on your 13th birthday, writer’s block has kicked in in a big way. There is so much to say but as you enter the teenage years, I know that protecting your privacy is really, really important. I don’t want to get mushy or sentimental but it’s really hard. You are the girl that made me a mom and every day we travel this path together succeeding and making mistakes in equal measure. Being the first born is hard. I am learning about this mothering thing right along side you. Every decision I make is new. Knowing when to say no and when to let you go is a constant struggle.
I know I should struggle less. You are an amazing girl. You make smart and difficult decisions every day. You are loving sister (most of the time!) and an amazing daughter. You are a devoted friend and thoughtful student. You are a dedicated and a talented soccer player and watching your love of the game on and off the field is inspiring.
I hope you know that even when I struggle to let you grow it is not because I don’t trust you. It is because I love those days when I could hold you close and I know that mothering now is different. Now it is up to me to show you how to be in this world as your own person. And you are doing an amazing job. You are figuring it all out and I couldn’t be more proud.
Happy Birthday Baby Girl. We love you so very much!