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Monday, May 29, 2017

A Letter to My Near-Teen

My dear darling D, 

As you are on the verge of becoming a teenager, I can't help but think about

- The baby that you were, the one who cried the loudest of all the babies in the hospital, but was also the most inquisitive and active one with the loveliest smile when you quietened down. You hated the act of going to sleep, and made me hate it wholeheartedly too, but also gave me a surprise by started to sleep through the night at 7 months. Now, it's the waking up in the mornings that's the problem :).

- The little bundle that was a terror to feed, whom I sang songs to and probably even had to do a dance or two just to get a few spoonfuls into your mouth, is now a completely non-picky eater who's always interested to know what the menu is for the next meal - Not completely sure what I did right there but I'm taking the credit for it ;).

- And the young lady you are turning out to be, taking on challenges and finding some times that you might even enjoy an activity that you weren't too keen on to begin with.

You turn 12 tomorrow.. I can't quite wrap my head around it.. but then I see you in front of me and I have to believe it's happening. My cute little baby has turned into a long-legged teenager, and one with strong opinions ;). You are so different from me in some ways, yet we are also a lot alike I like to think.

- You draw, and love to create something fresh. I can copy a picture (very well, I should add with no humility whatsoever) and the occasional zentangle fascinates me, but ask me to draw a tiger or a human face, for example, and I'm stuck. You on the other hand, seem to effortlessly draw anything from a birthday card to a nature scene for a school project.

- You write.. oh can you write! With the added support of a lovely and encouraging English teacher at school last year, your creative writing has just flourished. You read like crazy, sometimes to the exclusion of things like homework.. but then so did I at your age, so I know your writing talent doesn't stem from just that ;). I am really fascinated by the ideas that come out of your mind. For a recent A-Z challenge that many bloggers took up, you decided that you wanted to give it a try, and I was amazed by the short stories you came up with. 
* Waiting for her to finish the "Z" entry, and then wondering whether I should make that blog public.

- You imagine. Ok, this is probably the part I find toughest to handle as a parent. You do or say something, sometimes impulsively, and then later think about (in great detail) the impact it might have. Or you just worry about something that might probably never happen, because "What If?". I remember similar situations when I was young, but in your case, I think the possible results are like a complete story in your head so somehow bother you more. It is sometimes tough for me to put myself in your place to try and understand, but I try my best. I tell you "Life is not made of What Ifs".. but I'm guessing this is not something that you're going to just accept because I say it, and I hope you will learn, and gently, from experience.

- You share. A LOT. With me and with your Appa.. and it surprises me when you even tell me something that you know I might not approve of. I might sometimes react angrily, but then I immediately realize that it's more important that you come to me with these things. I end every such discussion with "I'm glad you told me.".. and I hope that's the memory that stays with you.. because not having this bond, this communication, with you is just not an option.

Here's wishing you always soar high my darling..
I am super proud of you, my dear "first" baby. Stay funny, stay imaginative, stay creative, stay YOU.

With lots of love,