Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Dear Amanda,
Today you turn twelve. Today is the first day of the last year before you are officially a teenager.
I was at the dentist yesterday and we were talking about you. Her son is also turning twelve and we were talking about all of the normal stuff that we parents talk about; how fast it goes by, how much you've changed, how much you've grown. But the biggest thing that is hitting me this year, more than other years, is how much closer you are to adulthood. It's only six years away. Which is twice as long as you've been alive and if that much time has already passed and so quickly, the next six years will happen in the blink of an eye. I think even you can understand how quickly it's happened seeing as how Triniti is six now and you can remember her coming home... doesn't feel like very long ago does it?
I find myself staring at you a lot. Looking at your face, your hair, your body - where once I used to look for signs of what you would look like when you grew up, now I am looking for signs of you when you were little because I can see the grown up Amanda so much easier than I ever thought I would be able to.
You are so unbelievably stubborn. Oh my god. So stubborn. You hate injustice and while your age and life experience tends to tell you more things are "unfair" than actually are, you still fight tooth and nail for them. You'll stand right there and stare me in the eye and fight me even though you know I'll win. As much as it drives me crazy that you do it, I couldn't be more proud of you for standing your ground against me, against the world when you feel strongly about something. Mostly because I know deep down in your heart that it scares you to death. I know exactly how that feels, I remember it from when I was a little girl. I remember feeling the injustice in my life, in the world and wanting to fight it with everything in me and I would always hit a wall. That wall would be my family, my teachers, my limitations as a "child" and even though I felt these very important, very grown up urgencies I couldn't do anything about them and I would get so frustrated that I would just want to cry. I see that in you all the time. And as much as I am often that "wall", I hope I am not putting out that fighting flame. Later, when you are older, you will be able to do so much, change so much about the world around you. And although you may not get that instant response right now, I do hear you. The world does here you and you do make a difference even when it isn't immediately felt to you.
This year you did something that made me more proud of you than I could have ever been. When you went to camp with your two best friends, I was a little freaked out. No communication for four days! No calls, no emails, no nothing. I was super worried about you but I had to put it away because it isn't about me, it's about you and you wanted the experience. But on the third day you called me and said you wanted to come home, something had happened. I came and picked you up even though every one was telling me to make you ride out that last day. When I picked you up, you didn't want to talk about what had happened and I gave you some time. The long and short of it was that you and your two best friends had had an argument. You had gotten mad at one of them for changing something about herself for a boy. And you had stuck to your guns even when your other friend took her side and they both blew you off. And when you got home, you weren't even mad at them. You told them how you felt, they ignored you for it and you forgave them without ever once changing your opinion or even telling them you had. You agreed to disagree and moved forward. It was so mature and so impressive and it made me so proud.
You consistantly make me proud. And I hope you understand that even when we don't see eye to eye, I still respect you for your opinions and for being brave enough to share them with me despite my resistance to them.
I love you and I believe that you are growing into an amazing and beautiful girl.

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so eloquently put by katehopeeden at 6:04 AM
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