Instead of all the things I could be worried about with her coming into the teenage years (because even though she isn’t officially a teenager until next year, she is for all intents and purposes a teenager right now), I am going to focus this post around the great things that make her who she is. And hope that they stay in place for the next six years or so.
Thank you for making all of those awesome little gifts.
The ceramic dinosaurs, the paper mache vases, the artwork on artists canvas drawn with chubby little fingers.
I treasure them and will for always.
And they usually make me cry.
The ugly cry.
I love that we are friends.
I know they say you shouldn’t consider your children “friends” but over the past 11 years, we have become just that.
We laugh, share secrets and even have inside jokes together.
I love that.
I have loved watching you go from “only child” to “big sister” over the past four years.
You fell in love with her instantly.
And she did with you, as was witnessed when she said her first word:
I love that you enjoy cooking alongside me all these years.
This is the year (age 12) that my mom and grandma taught me to officially cook.
I can’t wait to share that with you.
I love your snuggles.
I love that you want to help out whenever you can.
I love that you help me out in the biggest and the smallest of ways, even when no one is looking.
I love that you are a tomboy.
Just like I was.
My sweet daughter, on this day 12 years ago, I was really scared and kind of worried.
Scared about having a baby but also worried that I wouldn’t be a good mommy, that I wouldn’t know what to do with you, scared that I didn’t have it in me to be a mom.
But over the years, you have helped me overcome these fears.
As soon as you came out of me, I knew exactly what to do.
I hope I have never or will never let you down although I am sure there are days.
But most of all, I am able to be such a good mommy because you are such a good daughter.
I have loved every single moment we have shared and I look forward to all the exciting things to come in your future.
I promise to stand back and watch from afar at the bus stop next year when you don’t want me taking pictures on your first day of middle school.
I promise to be there for you when you lose your soccer game or when you have a crush that doesn’t crush back.
I’ll have plenty of tissue, People magazines and Mike will make his famous chocolate chip cookies for you.
I promise to drive you to school dances and look straight ahead, not make eye contact and not try to talk to your friends like I am trying to be the cool mom.
Speak until spoken to will be my motto.
I promise not to cry in front of your friends at your 8th-grade graduation.
At least not the ugly cry.
These are not things you have requested as of yet but they will be and even though it will be hard, I will deliver.
I will do these things for you and your sister.
Because I love you both.
Because I remember what it was like to be 12.
And because in six years, we will have you back again.
I love you Poo.
Can’t I call you that anymore?