As I watched my beautiful daughter Madison
turn 13 this week,
I couldn't help but spend some time thinking about
being 13 myself.
There are so many things that I wish I could
get through to my daughter,
so many things that wish I could make her understand.
But, she has to be 13.
She has to go through this awkward and confusing,
yet exciting and incredible time in her life in order
to get where she is supposed to be.
The wisdom she gets from the next five years
and the experiences she has will pave the path of her life
when she leaves our home.
that I wish I had known at 13.
And so, I've written some of them down
from the perspective of what I would tell my 13 year old self.
I'm writing to you from the future, from years of experience,
from wisdom beyond what you can know right now.
I'm writing to tell you some things that I would love for you to really hear
with your heart and not just your ears.
First of all, let's just get to the point....
Don't spend too much time in front of the mirror worrying about
that smallish chest.....it's coming, and then some!
Make excercise a priority so that it becomes a life long habit.
Do me a favor and eat as healthy as you can
through your teen years so that it won't be so hard to make healthy
Don't bother with that year of softball,
it was just embarrassing.
Stick with soccer, it suits you much better.
Invest more time in your family than you do your friends.
They remain when all others move on.
Having said that, I must also say that friends are important.
Make sure that you open your heart to them and chose
friends who lift you up, not tear you down.
Don't kiss that boy behind the bleechers at the baseball field next Summer.
Hold out for your first kiss to happen in a far more romantic and memorable way.
And while we are on the subject, don't waste your time with so many frogs.
You will know when your prince arrives!
Pay attention in class, especially math class.
Even some things that seem insignifiant now, will be important later.
Don't be afraid to say what you want and go after it.
Own your talent, build on it and refine it
and don't be afraid to accept compliments with a simple
"Thank you" instead of downplaying everything you do!
Don't sell yourself short.
Try out! Submit that article! Join that team or club!
Who cares if you fail!
You know what your dream is,
so set yourself on the path to chase it now before other responsibilities
slow down your pursuit.
Be strong in your faith.
Don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in.
Save money....lot's of it.
Learn how to invest your money so it will grow.
Give your parents a break.
They love you and are doing the best they can.
You are their firstborn...and by all rights and purposes, the guinea pig.
They won't get it right everytime, but they have the best intentions toward you.
Wear sunsreen everyday.....your 39 year old skin will thank you!
Be secure in yourself.
Confidence is attractive and you have alot to be confident about.
Don't let your insecurities keep you from leading or speaking up
or going for something you want.
Don't worry about the future,
your skin clears up, you find a hairstyle that works for you,
you grow into your face, your braces come off,
you don't get any taller, but that is actually one of your endearing qualities,
you have a great relationship with your brothers,
you and your mom are very close,
your Dad is proud of you,
you have friends who love you,
your prince does come and sweeps you off of your feet,
you are a mommy four times over!
As parents we wish we could implant our own hindsight
into our kids, don't we?
Wouldn't it be great if they could listen and learn from our experience?
Sometimes they do, but their best lessons are learned on their own.
From their own failures and triumphs,
from their own broken hearts and happiest days,
from their own choices both good and bad
comes the wisdom that shapes their own lives.
And why would I ever want to take that away from them?
Oh, and Becky,
I almost forgot to tell you,
that decision you made on Monday, September 2, 1991
while sitting in your grandmother's living room
was the absolute right decision!
I knew I could trust you with the big stuff!