I remember sitting deep in thought the day before you were born; much as I am sitting and pondering today, the eve before your 13th birthday; anxiously wondering what the future holds. Back then, as I stood on the threshold of motherhood, I was thinking about all the new experiences that journey would bring with it…feeding schedules, burping babies, teething and toddlerhood…Today my mind is racing in anticipation over the new experiences the Teen years might bring… curfews, bad influences, broken hearts, open communication and boundaries.
As tough and exhausting as those beginning years are, I feel like my real challenge starts now! Up until now we have tried our best to instil good morals, values and etiquette in you. I am hoping we did a good job in teaching you right from wrong and that the road map we have chartered out guides you in the right direction. That these morals serve as a compass that will always guide you toward the light.
As we approach this new and important crossroad- me with fear and caution, slow and steady strides, my grip on you perhaps too tight. Afraid of what the real world holds…you with the naivety and excitement of a youth yet to experience the pitfalls of the real world, hastening blindly into this realm of false security and illusion- I know I need to shift my gears for this next stretch, I just haven’t quite figured out my approach!
For now, I can still match your stride, keep up with your pace. Be beside you through it all! It’s been slightly fearful watching you grow, develop into your own person. It hasn’t always been easy raising a daughter in this era. But a big part of me is relieved that you have retained most of your innocence, your kindness and compassion towards others. That you have not outgrown my hugs. That it is you who demands to be tucked in at night and not me hanging onto the little pieces of ‘little’ you. And I am grateful that even in our moments of outbursts, I still have a glimpse into your mind and your heart and I am still a part of your world.
I have no certainty as to what the future holds…What I do know is that as I get older, my strides will get slower. I may not be able to keep up. Perhaps I will be left behind. I can only hope that when that time comes, you will look back from time to time just to let me know you are ok and I hope that by then I will be brave enough to set you free…
Happy 13th Birthday!