14 years in

Do you remember being 14? A year of transitions. Junior high to high school. Passenger to practice driver. Innocent to aware. 14 seems like the age of the tipping point.

A lot of my friends, women especially, talk about 14 being the age when boys turned from “yuck” to “hmmm.” Blushing took on a new meaning. And things started happening. A multitude of things. First dates. First kisses. First gropes. First real – “this is really happening – you’re getting older” – awkward talks with your parents.

Is now a good time to tell you that my baby girl turns 14 today? Part of me fears all of those transitions. Part of me is joyous – knowing it means she’s growing into a young adult who will have all her own joys, challenges, fun and future.

And thank you, Facebook, for your memories feature – where I can see my baby grow before my very own eyes for as long as I’ve been posting on Facebook. I can see my series of posts:

“Happy birthday to my monkey!”

“Happy birthday sweet 9-year old!”

“Happy double digits!”

“Happy tween-dom!”

“Happy last year before you’re a teen.”

“Happy first year as a teenager!”

And there’s her face. Her sweet, angelic face – changing, ever so slightly at first. And then, more subtly. The baby fat lessens in every picture. Her cheek bones become more pronounced. Her legs get longer. And her smile – it just stays. Shining away. I pray that smile stays for every birthday to come.

Happy birthday, to my sweet, sweet girl. I pray you will keep your heart for caring for those younger than you, a spirit for fun, and a creative and artistic spark. And I pray we both survive all those transitions and love each other through it.

 

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