This weekend, my family hosted a baby shower for my youngest sister, who is expecting a baby girl in November. One of the activities, which we found here, was for each guest to make a card for one of the baby’s childhood birthdays, up through age 21. We asked our grandmothers to make cards for Baby’s 21st birthday, and our mother chose 16. The rest of us picked a number. I drew 12. Since I think better at the keyboard, I decided today’s blog would be all about what I would want my twelve-year-old daughter to know.
When I started thinking about what I want to say to you, I tried to remember what my life was like at age twelve. It didn’t take long, because that was when I started Journaling. My body was changing, and I didn’t like it. I wasn’t ready to stop being a child. I wanted to keep jumping off hay bales and climbing trees, playing Nazi resistance on tractors and grain trucks.
But most of my classmates seemed eager to be grown up, and I didn’t feel like I fit in. I thought everyone else “got” something I just didn’t “get.” Do you feel that way, too? I promise you, all your classmates and friends feel the same way, even if it doesn’t look like it. Everyone’s body and mind are changing, and everyone has to figure out how to adjust. And everybody does that a little differently.
It’s okay not to have a ton of friends. Your mom had a gift for making lots of friends from different social circles. I never did, and I used to think there was something wrong with me. But some of us are made to only have room for one or two really close friends at a time. And that’s okay.
You are beautiful. You may roll your eyes at me, sitting at a computer a thousand miles away before you’re even born–how can I know whether you’re beautiful or not at age twelve? I know because beauty is something inside. There are Beautiful People out there, people who get on magazine covers for being beautiful, and we may recognize their beauty right away. But most of the rest of us are pretty ordinary-looking, and we learn to recognize the beauty in each other as we get to know them. The crazy but wonderful thing is that I don’t just mean inner beauty. I mean that a person will become more attractive physically as you get to know them. And the same happens with you.
So love yourself, respect yourself–your body and also the beautiful soul inside it. That is where God lives, and where God made you in His image. Take care of yourself. Eat well, stay active, and take time just to sit still and rest. The world is opening up in front of you, and it’s going to be an exhilerating and terrifying ride. Stay close to your parents, even when they drive you nuts. You need deep roots to help you fly. The rest of us can’t wait to see where you go.
Now it’s your turn. What would you tell age twelve? Am I missing anything critical?
(Linked to Just Write at The Extraordinary Ordinary)