I’ve spent 12 years mothering you. I know when you’re happy, and when you’re faking a smile. I know when you’re sad, and when you’re trying to get us to feel sorry for you. Even though you have a wide array of facial expressions, I know what they all mean.
I’ve watched you excel. I’ve helped you when you struggled. I taught you things, like how to swim and ride a bike.
I have read you so many, many books. I have also written so many, many words about you.
You have taught me how to laugh at silly videos, life, and myself. You showed me parts of myself I didn’t know I didn’t know. You loved me even when I didn’t feel like the mom I wanted to be; you loved me all the times.
You went to your first school dance tonight, on your birthday. You had fun. I love watching you experience the little things of life. I’m also not sorry we “embarrassed” you by listening to our “embarrassing” music as we pulled up to the school. I wish the same moments for you as a parent, should you choose to be one, as you roll up to the school with your newly minted 12-year-old. It actually makes your tween years make sense.
You’ll understand us someday.
For now, know this: You are loved. You are loved even when you don’t like us. Even when we’re “embarrassing.” Even when you feel sad. Or angry. Or lonely. Even when you’d rather be with anyone but us but we’re forcing you to be with us because family matters. So very much. You are loved when you get straight A’s and you are loved when you can’t figure out the answers.
Most importantly, you are loved when you don’t feel like you’re loved because you’re always, always, always loved.
Thank you for being you. Here’s to another year!