Happy, happy birthday! I can't believe you're actually a teenager. Since the day you turned 10, you've been calling yourself a "pre-teen." And we'd constantly tell you, "Don't try to grow up too fast!" See? We told you that it wouldn't take any time at all.
Thankfully, although you're 13, you ARE 13--in every sense of the word. And this is a good thing, because you're still a kid. You don't want to wear a lot of makeup, you will still just pile your hair on your head and leave the house--in fact, I often have to ask, "Did you even brush your hair?!" It's all good. I would much rather be asking you to go upstairs and brush that mop of hair than telling you to go wash off eyeliner/lipstick/eyeshadow. Believe me. These are the things I love--you have all the time in the world to grow up. Please, don't rush it. You only get to be a kid for so long.
Much to the extreme happiness of me and the dad, you don't like the clothes that most girls your age like (thank you!). Shorts are always too short, shirts are always too tight/too cropped/too low, and skirts don't even make it into your closet. You will happily wear jeans and a sweatshirt any day of the week, if it's not just jean shorts and a t-shirt. I love you for this. I love that you simply do not care. You have a confidence about you that I wish all young women had--it's so strong and beautiful. (But, yes, I still want you to brush your hair.)
At 13, you love Marvel Comics, Ninja Turtles, cheetahs, and the band 5 Seconds of Summer. You have your earbuds in 90% of the time, and you walk around, regardless of where we are, mouthing the words to whatever song is on at the time. It's hilarious. And you don't care. You have gone from a little girl with about 2 friends that would put up with your 'cheetah-talk,' to a young woman with a cacophony of friends who adore you because you are silly, quirky, loving, and have a kind heart. These are the friends that you will grow up with.
13 is such a weird age--you're still so very much a kid, but still so very much a young woman, too. I love driving in the car with you, holding your hand. I told you, just last week, that that simple act makes me so happy. When I was a young woman, grama used to hold my hand in the car all the time (she still does). It's such a perfect connection--it makes me happy and sad, all at once. Happy because when I found out I was having a baby girl, these are the times I just couldn't wait for. Sad because I'm now holding a hand that's larger than mine. Thank you for letting me hold your hand.
Also, thank you for letting me still love you and kiss on you in front of people. I hope you never grow out of that, because I won't. There's nothing in the world that can fix a rough day like you 'hanging' your limby-self on me. You just walk up, put your head on my shoulder, and lean into me. And you totally sit there while I cover your cheeks in kisses. I love you so, so much. More than you could ever fathom. I adore being your mom and I am so glad that you're my baby.
I really don't know what else to say. You are beautiful. I mean that in every aspect of the word. Jen, you are such an
amazing kid. You've accomplished so much in this short life, that I can't wait to see what the future holds for you. I am thankful for you every single minute, of every single day. I am so lucky to be your mom.
I love you all the spots,