To my oldest, you might think this letter is sappy and silly, but believe it or not, I remember what it was like to be turning 12. Feeling like you are in this grey area, not a little kid anymore but not quite a teenager. As your 12th birthday approaches, I hope to offer you a few pieces of advice to keep in mind as you move on to the next chapter of your life.
Be your own Leader
You don’t have to do what all your classmates are doing. You don’t have to have the newest clothes or shoes. Put yourself on the path to becoming the person you want to be. I don’t ever want you to feel like there is one mold for everyone and that you have to pretend to fit it. It is okay to be different. In fact, being different is something to be celebrated!
Be your own comedian
Make tons of laugh lines! Always find something to make yourself laugh every day. Surround yourself with people who make you smile and provide you with lots of belly laughs! Don’t hold back your joy – I hope you laugh loudly and often. Laughter is often times the best medicine.
Enjoy the sunshine
Get out and enjoy some Vitamin C, but don’t forget the sunscreen. Find a good moisturizer with sunscreen in it and apply it daily. I promise you will thank me later. And while you are at it, drink lots of water.
Find your joy
Do what makes you happy! Each day is an opportunity for you to expand your brain. Stay open to trying new things. Read a lot of books and ask tons of questions (especially the hard ones). Don’t worry about what others might think of you. Discover your own passion, something that sparks joy inside of you. Don’t ignore that passion within yourself.
Know I’m your #1 fan
My ears and heart will always be open to listening. I will always love you unconditionally and be your safe space for those big feelings. You can always count on me to be your sounding board. I will be there to help pick up the pieces when things don’t go exactly as you planned. You are one of my greatest accomplishments and I am so very PROUD of you.