Thursday, June 6, 2024

To My Daughter On Your Twelfth Birthday


What a trip around the sun this has been for you! Your whole year was filled with firsts, new beginnings, and milestones. You're almost to the teen years, riding the lines between little girl, angsty teen, and proper young women. This year held so much emotional and mental growth for you. You gracefully navigated big life changes and conquered them all. I've always been proud of you, but you absolutely left me stunned by your grace through the toughest days.

You completed your first year in middle school. It was a huge change and you did it with an ease I can only wish for. You had a great year with friends (both new and old), classes (those grades we're pretty darn great!), getting involved, trying new things even if you were scared, and staying true to your authentic self. There were dances, sleepovers, shaving your legs, learning who you wanted to be friends with and who you didn't, and everything in between. Saying goodbye to daycare was tough and left a lot of questions unanswered, but I feel like we got a pretty good deal for this summer for you to spend time with some of your best friends.

You've gotten quite the workout in of learning to stick up for yourself and how to speak up for yourself. From teachers to peers, I'm proud of how you handled any challenges that arose. You've always been one to do what you want to do and not give a damn what others around you are doing. While that has been challenging from the parenting side, it is also one of my favorite things about you. I'm thrilled to see that hasn't changed at all. 

Your resilience, fearlessly trying new things, and taking all things to heart are your best qualities. They make you caring, fun, and adds to your ability to keep us guessing (just as you have the last twelve years). Our family dynamic has changed dramatically this year, as I expected as all three of you have gotten older. School, friends, and activities are at the forefront of your priorities. Day trips and adventuring have taken a backseat, making our family fun days a rarity. We have fewer mom and minis sleepovers, but our late night chats and snuggles are still my favorite. I love connecting with you and sharing secrets, even when it's past my bedtime.

We're gearing up for your seventh recital season. You still have the same spark and love for dance as you did that very first year. If anything it has only grown. Your commitment always impresses me, especially because you never waiver in your love for your dance classes.

My sweet, sometimes volatile Elizabeth, I hope your next trip around the sun is as spectacular as this last one was. As much as I hope you continue to exude the extraordinary qualities that make you YOU, I hope you always do what makes you happy. Thank you for sharing your life and love with us! Happy Birthday to the youngest love of my life! 

Love you always and forever.