To My Daughter on her 12th Birthday

Dear Princess,

Last week your language arts teacher sent an email assigning your family and people who love you to write you a letter that will go in a time capsule for you to open up in six years, during your senior year of high school. I knew, when I saw that, that I’d be writing your birthday letter soon so admittedly for the past several days I have had versions of both letters tumbling through my head – and I’m not sure what I want to say for either, only that thinking of these letters makes me want to cry.


How are you 12?

There’s something about having a middle school kid who is wearing size 9 Chucks and who is becoming more responsible every minute… it’s making me feel a) old and b) that this is all going so fast and that I’m going to blink and you’re going to be opening up that letter your senior year before I have had a chance to process the years between now and then. And I don’t wish them away, not at all. I never want to hold you back, but I like that you’re still my kid and I’m still your momma and that I’ve still got some years with you under my roof before you fly.

And fly you will.

You are, in a word: Amazing.

You are funny, responsible, intelligent, talented, creative, kind-hearted, and beautiful. You are an old soul and you are sassy. You are sarcastic and you are gracious. In short, you are everything I could have ever dared ask for and so much more I couldn’t have dreamed of, and yet you are.

You are fierce and tender and loyal and lovely and there are times when I catch a glimpse of who you will be when you’re older and it’s good. I’m so proud of you.

I’m proud of you when I see you compete at a gymnastics competition. I’m proud when your teachers tell me how much they enjoy having you around. I’m proud of you when you thank me for doing something special for you. I’m proud when I see you with my friends and how you are entertaining and witty and you light up a room. I am proud when you bake your crazy awesome cookies that everyone loves so much. And I’m proud when you do nothing at all, when you just are. Because it’s not all about big moments – you bring light into my life in small ways too.

You still like gymnastics, reading, baking. You are going to do a presentation on photography soon and that makes me smile, that my hobby is yours. You help me pick my pictures of the day, sometimes, and you are so exacting as you look over the images for clarity and point of view.

Your room is usually a mess and you nag at your sister sometimes as if you were the mom. You are prone to bouts of “hanger” and at times you can be easy to upset.You believe in fairness. You believe in vanilla ice cream cones with sprinkles. Your cousins adore you and actually, most kids adore you, even toddlers you’ve just met climb into your arms like you’re family.

And twelve years ago, I held you in my arms for the first time and now I am thinking of today and this year and six years from now and how you’re not a baby, not even close, you’re right smack in the middle of this growing up thing and I think you’re turning out pretty okay, and I am so happy about that.

I have no idea what this year will bring – seventh grade, yes. More gymnastics, probably. I try to think back on what I was doing in seventh grade and I can’t remember much beyond a crush on New Kids on the Block (which is not altogether unlike your crush on One Direction). This is our last year before the teen years, and I always hope that you are not one of those girls who will end up hating her mother as I’ve been warned can happen. I think I’d be devastated if it did.

I am, as I am every year, excited to see what this year holds.

I wish I had something profound to say to you this year, but I am also trying to think of something profound to say to Future Six Years From Now You and I find that that causes me a great deal of feelings because I don’t want to think yet of that and what your future holds.

For now, though, you’re here and I’m glad and there will be no flying out of the nest today, only excessive amounts of pizza and mint cookie ice cream. We’ll sing happy birthday and you’ll blow out the candles and I’ll take lots of pictures of you, my beautiful daughter and I’ll wonder where the time went and how are you twelve and look how blessed I am to get to be your momma.

Happy birthday, kiddo. I love you with my whole heart, Princess. I’m so lucky to be your mom.

<3 Mom

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