My oldest Nerdling turned 13 this week. It’s pretty big milestone. I don’t feel old persey, I just can’t believe she is so grown up. One of the biggest things she has been asking for was she wanted me to color her hair blue. So in celebration of the big day I conceded and we spent Sunday going through the bleaching process, then on Monday her hair made the big leap into blue hair. She loves it and that makes me happy. Though I will admit, it hurt a little deep inside. Her hair was so pretty. I am sure without a doubt that my mom felt the same way when I first started coloring my hair.
I have spent months trying to decide what I was going to get her for her birthday. She enjoys video games and she wants clothes. She did request candy… go figure. So I decided I would put together a “Teenager’s Survival Kit”, which will include several items that I feel she needs as she enters in to teenagehood. A straightening iron, makeup, a small set of makeup brushes, chocolate, sparkly shoes (She is really in to sparkly right now), nail polish, hair bands, a razor, shaving gel and assorted candies I know she loves. Hopefully she won’t devour all the sweets in 24 hours.
I am looking forward to teaching her things like; how to put on makeup and using a straightening iron. I understand that to a lot of people a 13 year old wearing makeup is a little young. Honestly I agree. However, she goes to a fine arts school for theater and she is required to wear stage makeup for performances and tournaments. I want her to learn to apply it properly because it is a skill she needs now. Most of what I got her are pretty neutral colors.
What I feel was the most important item sat on top of it all in the box, placed right under the birthday card that was signed by the family. In an envelope I placed a letter. In that letter I wrote what I felt were some of the most important things that I wanted her to know as she begins living through her teenage years. I encourage her regularly to be herself inside and out. She also knows how important it is to not let other people’s opinions change her. These are some of the things that we talk about at home. What I wrote in the letter were things that I felt were more important. Things that I wanted her to go back and read from time to time. Especially as she and I clash, which if she is ANYTHING like I was, will happen often.
To my dearest daughter,
You are now 13 years old. I know you are aware of this already and it probably seems silly of me to remind you. Consider this just another of those things that falls under the category of “You’ll understand when you’re older.” I know you’ve heard it a lot already. However, there are some things you can only understand by experiencing them. It doesn’t possibly seem like it was 13 years ago that I was holding you in my arms for the first time. Alas, it is so.
You entering into teenagehood is a big deal. I know it is a birthday, but it represents so much more. This new stage of your life is exciting. It is full of adventures and experiences you have not yet had the ability to have. You will likely make new friends, meet boys and experience love for the first time. Unfortunately, you will also likely experience betrayal, heartbreak and loneliness like you never have before. It is sad that these things happen, but there are some things that I want you to remember.
You are a daughter of the Lord. He loves you and He created you. He has a plan for your life. He will never let anything happen that you truly can’t handle. That’s not to say that bad things won’t happen, but when they do He will be there the whole time waiting for you to turn and ask Him for help and guidance. He will always answer. It just may not be the answer you want or think it should be.
It is so very important to learn from both the good things and the bad things that happen and let them draw you closer to the Lord.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Read your Bible every day. It is a difficult habit to create, but once you do you will find that you hear God more clearly, and you find comfort in His written word when you need it. I find that for me, when I am reading my Bible every day it changes my entire attitude towards myself and others in a big way.
I am so proud of you. I try to tell you on a regular basis. It seems that I tell you most often when you have done something that was a big deal. I want you to know how proud I am of you all the time. You are kind, you are caring and you are compassionate. Never change that. It is never something you should be ashamed of. Those are qualities that God has placed in you. They are a part of who you are. All of who you are is what I am proud of.
Sometimes you will not like me very much. That is ok. You will test boundaries. You will not agree with all of our rules or what we require of you. That is ok too. Your feelings about me at any given moment will never change how much I love you. My love for you is unconditional. That means that even if you’re being the world’s biggest rage monster, I will still love you. Even if you disobey me, I will still love you. It is my job to guide you into adulthood to teach you how to be a grown up and how to function in life. It is not my job to let you do whatever you want. I will have to make difficult decisions. I will have to ground you. I will probably invade your space. I am not your friend. I am your mother and I will always love you.
I want you to remember this, it is important. Well, all of this is important but I want you to remember this. The relationship a girl has with her mother is special. A mom rejoices with you when you are happy and/or excited. She comforts you when you are sad and/or heartbroken. Your mom is the one who teaches you how to be a woman and someday a wife and mother. It is important to ask questions and for advice. A lot of that comes with trust and that comes with time. Sometimes you will overreact. Sometimes I will overreact. Being a mom isn’t easy and being a daughter isn’t easy. We will both be learning along the way. I will do my best to listen to what you have to say. I will try to be understanding. I want you to try and remember that I was a teenager once. I have gone through things that you will likely go through. I understand more than you might think.
I want you to know that I pray for you every day. Not just on the way to taking you kids to school in the morning, or before you go to bed at night. I pray that God will reveal Himself to you, that you will have a continually growing relationship with Him. I pray that you will learn to be independent, there are too many kids out there who can’t think for themselves or make decisions for themselves. I pray for your friends and the people who surround you from day to day. I pray for your relationships. I pray for your future. I pray for your future husband whom you will meet some day.
This may seem like a lot to take in. It’s ok if you don’t absorb everything in this letter all at once. These are just some of the most important things that I want you to know.
I love you so much. I don’t know what inspired God to give me such an amazing daughter, but you are such a blessing and I thank Him every day for you.
There is so much more that I want her to know, but after much thought and prayer, these are the things I felt needed to be said. I plan to start making coffee dates with her on a semi-often basis where we talk and just spend time together. I don’t know what the future and her teenagehood holds, but I am trying to prepare myself and her.