I’ve thought a lot about my oldest girl turning into a teen. I thought about it when she was a baby… how she would look, what her personality would be like. I’ve seen it coming for months but the closer it gets the less I really want to think about it – the mood swings, the drama, the desire to separate herself from her younger siblings and the struggle to fit in while still maintaining who she is. The need to be independent and the sudden necessity of privacy.
I’ve thought about her turning into a teen. I’ve thought about what the teen years entail. But I haven’t really thought about her being a teenager. Until now. It hit me today that 10:31am will really mark 13 years from the minute that she came into my life. And then it hit me that this year is a large influencer on how the next 13 years of her life will be – the connections she creates, the bonds she forges, the habits she adopts and the experiences she has will all set a foundation for her life. The groundwork of her entire existence is just now truly coming into play.
That’s terrifying! Exciting. But it is a little difficult for me, I must admit.
I’m filled with what ifs. She’s such a smart, confident girl. I love how secure she is in her own skin. I love that she has great friendships and is so happy and outgoing. She has her crisis moments, of course – this is that age where everything is a big deal and nothing can be taken lightly. Emotions run high and there is no shortage of topic for conversations. She’s getting more and more interested in spending time with her friends outside of school. This, too, is terrifying… at least to a certain extent.
I look back at my own life when I was 13 and I try so hard not to compare my experiences to her life. I try not to allow my imagination to run away with me because I know we are cut from much different cloths and we come from much different circumstances. Because of that, she’s much more mature than I was at her age. Still, I’m concerned about her. She’s my baby. She’ll always be my baby. Even if we do share clothes ;)
As she enters into those crazy, confusing, fast-paced and defining years all I can pray is that she listens. I hope she’s heard everything I’ve said over the years and I hope that she continues to accept the wisdom I have to offer her. I hope that she places high importance on keeping herself safe in every manner of speaking and that she makes God proud of the woman she becomes. I will always be here for her and I hope she knows she can talk to me about anything. I hope she knows I will always be one of the very few people in her life she can always count on to be there for her, to be honest with her and to support her without fault or judgment.
I hope she knows how valuable she is… how much worth she possesses. I hope that she realizes her own strength and that she recognizes the signs when she comes across people who will try to deceive her in order to take away her power. I pray that God guides her and keeps her safe from all forms of harm. I pray that she is blessed with a spirit of discernment and that she thinks about the consequences and implications of her actions before she makes decisions on what’s best for her. I pray that when she’s confused, she’ll seek my advice and when she’s hurting, she’ll seek my comfort and when she doesn’t feel quite right, she’ll let me help her smooth things out.
I hope that as she grows up, she understands how much further she’ll get in life with honesty and how quickly secrets will bring her down. I hope that she is wise enough to know who adds value to her life and strong enough to let go of those who create conflict. I hope she spends her tears only on people who are deserving of them… but I also hope she knows that when she needs to let them flow, she’s invited to camp out on my shoulder any time.
I hope she knows how much I love her. I hope she refuses to settle for less than excellence. I pray that she lives without regret and wonders what God would want her to do in every situation. I hope that she accepts Jesus in her heart on her own and not just because I tell her she should. I hope her birthday is everything she needs it to be and nothing that she doesn’t. :) I look forward to watching her grow into the woman I know she will be — successful, strong, talented and fierce.
I hope that she trusts me even when she hates me… and I hope that her goals keep her feet on the ground, always moving forward and never looking back.