Our last year before the teenage years with our oldest girl and I keep shaking my head. Not possible, I think. But, it’s happening so I best jump on board.

Anna-Laura is officially 12 today and that means one thing: sappy letter from Mom. Here goes.

Dear Anna-Laura,

If I could give an award for kid who has changed the most, it would be you. Hands down. And, please know, those changes have come in all the best of ways.

I’m seeing such a confident, self-assured, bright, affable young woman emerge. You have a great desire to learn and improve yourself. Even though you sometimes still lose your brain, slam your bedroom door and stomp loudly up the stairs, you are just as quick to come right back down, apologize and give me a big hug. You aren’t afraid to admit you were wrong and that takes such maturity. I’m learning so much from you.

We’re starting to have some adult-like conversations and they aren’t even drama filled, they’re love-filled. And it is so great. I know the teenage years can be difficult on a mother-daughter relationship and I’m praying we weather them with grace. You can always talk to me about all the things: boys you like at school, things people say (good and bad), worries you carry deep inside your heart and how you’re feeling about it all. You are definitely my feeler in the bunch. You are keenly aware when other people are hurting and you are quick to wrap them in a hug or squeeze their hand.

It’s a gift I hope you never lose.

You fight hard for people you love and things you care about. You also fight with Will something fierce, but I think that just means the two of you love one another. A lot. Your tenacity on the soccer field is something I will never tire of watching. You’re a hustler and a motivator. I love that about you!

Somehow, as the self-proclaimed “other neat freak” in the house, you’ve managed to survive in a room with the self-proclaimed “hoarder” of the family. I keep telling you it’s building character. You keep rolling your eyes.

If not for you and your mad baking skills, I’m pretty sure I’d be down about five pounds. But, your snickerdoodles make it worth it. Keep baking. Please. When I say you’re the other mom around here, I mean it. There are days I want to clock out and just let you take over. You’re probably more capable than me!

I wish I had your hair. It’s gorgeous. You’ve taught yourself how to braid it watching YouTube. Praise Jesus for the internet.

Keep your tender heart (it’s beautiful), but don’t let the world around you limit your growth. You decide how big and beautiful your future will be. Your love for God is such a lovely thing to witness. I am eternally grateful you landed a Dominican Sister as your homeroom teacher this year. I believe she has been the key to you unlocking the potential within.

Won’t it be fun to see where God takes you this next year?

I love you big, sweetheart. Let’s go take 12 with kindness, grace and love!

Love,

Mom

3 Comments

  1. Ann-Marie on May 16, 2017 at 6:52 am

    And just like that, she looks like such a young woman in the picture. Happy Birthday!

  2. Gina on May 16, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Beautiful! As usual! 🙂 I LOVE your birthday letters to your kids!

  3. karen on May 16, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Happy birthday to fabulous, big-hearted, ray of sunshine Anna Laura! So wish our girls crossed paths more often! Birthday hugs from the kleimans!

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