To my daughter on her 11th birthday

Dear Princess,

Last week, your sister woke me up and the first words out of her mouth were, “Eight days until Princess’s birthday.” She was so excited about your birthday that it was her first thought upon waking that day. I don’t blame her; I’m pretty excited too.

I know that this has been a big weird crazy year, and I hope that we’re able to move past the chaos and the changes and the transition and settle into some new kind of normal. I kind of dig our house full of girls (well, and the dog), and I’ve been working really hard to do what I can to limit the disruption in your life.

It’s been hard, the times I’ve had to say, “No we can’t buy this” or “We can’t do this” — and I hate it as much as you do, however, in a way it’s been a blessing because I see you appreciating the small things more. I’m the mom, and it’s my job to make sure you have shoes that fit you – but it wasn’t until this year that you thanked me when I bought them for you. I’m doing my best to keep your head free of cares while I get back on my feet, but I know you can tell that it’s not always easy.

You’ve grown up a lot this year – and yeah, part of that is because of life and circumstance and part of it is because, well, it’s time. Just last week they had “the talk” at school. Also, I recently attended the orientation for middle school. And frankly? Nothing says “growing older” like a crush on a boy band where the members have ridiculous hair (someday you’ll laugh about this One Direction thing. Maybe. I laugh about liking New Kids on the Block when I was younger. Google them. You’ll laugh too).

269 | 365

Last week we baked biscuits for strawberry shortcake and I made you laugh by dancing around the kitchen to Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” (“You’re so proud of yourself that you know all the words to this old song, aren’t you?” you said to me). I love to make you laugh. And I love that we bake together. You’re pretty good at it, and soon I won’t even have to bother. You’ll take my Queen of Cookies crown (there’s not actually a crown, but if there were, we’d have it).

You are both extremely serious and extraordinarily silly and I like when silly trumps serious sometimes. You’re a kid. Life is silly. Please keep finding the fun.

We survived another season of gymnastics – you have a whole slew of medals now – and I’m fantastically proud of you. I don’t know where you go from here with it – you have an opportunity to go to a bigger and better gym — and I don’t think you want to. That’s okay, Princess. While I want you to have the opportunity to try a different place with a different style, it’s more important to me that you are able to hang on for your love of the sport. I don’t want this to be un-fun for you. I will follow your lead.

You’re extraordinarily smart. You…well, you always have been. I could sugar coat it or put on that “aw shucks” attitude about it – but, you were just born this way. Wish I could take credit for it, but dang, girl. You’re kind of just amazing by nature. It’s fun to watch your brain work.

I have no idea what this upcoming year holds for you – but I know that I will sit back and try to enjoy this ride. I imagine this is a year where you will start demanding more independence and thus it will be the year where I will have to learn a little bit how to let go and when to let go and when I still get to hold on. You are amazingly grounded with a level-head on your shoulders, and I’ve been blessed to have you in my world.

Eleven years ago today I first looked at your face and my world was changed, and daily you keep changing my world in all kinds of spectacular ways. Eleven years ago I officially became a mom, and though I’m not one to define myself solely by the fact that I am a mother, being a mother – being your mother – has shaped who I am more than anything else in my world ever has.

Sheesh. Where did all that time go?

Happy birthday to you, Princess. I love you with my whole heart and I am oh so very lucky to be your mom.

I love you,


About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.

Speak Your Mind