So! My first baby is twelve. Almost a teen, definitely a tween. Most definitely a tween!
I always reread what I wrote the previous year or two so I don’t repeat myself too much. She essentially stays the same person, quiet, kind, thoughtful. But this year, there has been an incredible amount of change. I saw an inkling of that inner strength and confidence I knew were there last year. It has exploded this year. She tolerates no nonsense when it’s time to work (hates it when kids don’t listen and do their work during class!) She’s started thinking more about what she needs to do to get where she wants in life. She’s always wanted to be an engineer and make robots but now, she’s looking at what that means. She knows it’s a male dominated field and that she’ll have to work hard. And when we talked about it, I saw the determination in her face. She wants this and she will do the work to get it. In fact, she asked us to get her a tutor because she isn’t happy with her grades in one subject (Humanities). The grades are fine but fine doesn’t satisfy her.
(Note that I fully realize that, at her age, she can change her mind a million times about what she wants to do. I think I can safely say that whatever she chooses will likely involve math and science.)
As her confidence has grown, so have her sass and sarcasm. Sometimes funny, sometimes makes you want to throw her out the window. Always needs to have the last word. She’ll eventually learn to wield her wit carefully so she isn’t hurtful. She also enjoys poking at her sister until the poor child explodes in anger. But she also truly loves her little sister and is always there to mother her.
Even as she’s become a little more prickly, she’s still sweet. Cuddlier now than when she was toddler. And still open with me. And as she grows, I hope to keep those lines of communication healthy and I hope that she knows deep in her bones that I am and always will be a soft place to land for her.
Happy birthday to my sweet girl. I look forward to watching you grow and seeing what you become. I will always be in your corner, cheering you on, lifting you up, and telling you when you are out of line. You made my heart grow when you were born and I will always be grateful to you for making me a mother and for being who you are.