I “unpublished” 13 years worth of parenting blog posts this year. They still exist on this blog, they’re just all in “draft” form because my kids started googling this blog and their names on the blog when they want to show their friends baby pictures of them, and I started worrying that maybe someone would use blog posts I wrote about them as babies against them.
BECAUSE ALL BABIES DO GROSS THINGS, OKAY. GET OVER YOURSELF FRIENDS OF MY KIDS WHO WANT TO HOLD BLOG POSTS ABOUT THEIR POOPY DIAPERS AGAINST THEM.
Those kids do not exist. But as someone who formed a “We Hate Suzy Club” in third grade (her name was not Suzy, but the club did exist) I know for a fact that kids can be cruel for no real reason so those kids MIGHT exist some day. So I unpublished the posts.
That means 12 years of birthday posts for my daughter are no longer available for her to read. And for now? That’s okay. When she’s an old lady who no longer cares if her friends read about her vomiting in my hair, I’ll put them back up again. But for now? I’m just going to try to write a birthday entry for my beautiful daughter that (hopefully) won’t embarrass her at a later date.
You turn 13 today. You are officially deeply into the years that frame what I still consider to be the worst part of my my life. AND MY DAD DIED. AND I HAD A SHIT TON OF MISCARRIAGES. AND ONE DIVORCE. AND A MOM ALMOST DIED SEVERAL TIMES.
And yet…YET! The years 12-14 were the ABSOLUTE WORST.
And you are simply thriving in ways I didn’t know possible. You are handling the stress and expectations of an academic program meant to challenge the brightest students in our school system. You have wonderful friends who make me laugh. You have a great sense of style that won’t make you hate your middle school photos as much as I hate mine. You have a wicked sense of humor and you don’t take yourself too seriously. You still goofy dance to make me laugh. But most of all – you are determined to better understand the world around you and those who are different from you. You are embracing lessons about your own privilege so that you don’t waste the years that I did, not understanding the societal structures that build you up while it holds others down. You want to make the world better, something I didn’t decide I wanted to do until well into my 30s.
Like your older brother before you, you are entering your teen years a wiser, kinder, and more equipped human than I entered – even my 20s. I wish I could leave you a world that didn’t need fixing, but you give me hope that maybe your generation will do what mine has failed to do over and over again.
But whatever you decide to do with your years, I hope you never forget to goofy dance. Your Dad and I still do it regularly to make each other laugh and it’s an important tool to counteract the stress and the cruelty that you will find as you grow up. I guess that’s the parental wisdom I offer you today, on your 13th birthday: Never forget to silly dance.
Oh, and also don’t forget to to put up your wet towels. Or they’ll get stinky.
Happy Beautiful to my Fierce and Fabulous daughter. You make me want to be a better person every day.