Three Teen

So much change in just one year. Amazing change. Surreal change. At least from a mother's point of view. 

Another year older, but still the same heart, the same kindness, the same beautiful being emanating from her soul. Over the past year, Haley's creative spirit has soared. She expresses herself so well through her art, photography, and singing, as well as gluten-free baking, caring for children, and her various volunteer activities . She has followed her passions, sometimes making money in the process. In doing so, she is able to treat herself to equestrian camp this summer, where her love of horses will mingle with crafts and fun and feed her spirit. I love it that, during what can be crazy, questioning years, Haley is a confident, passionate young woman. 

My daughter is now officially a teenager. Thirteen. That means I have three teens in my house now. Three. Teens. In my house. I feel like I should feel overwhelmed at this, but I feel more excitement than anything. Teenagers are cool people, especially if you listen to them and encourage them along life's journey however you can.

For my brilliant daughter on her thirteenth birthday, I leave these thirteen thoughts...
1. Be yourself.
2. Nurture your sense of humor, it will come in handy.
3. Nourish your soul with things you love.
4. Pray often for others, for guidance, and for thanksgiving.
5. Talk to your mother ... about anything, even if it's embarrassing or scary. That's what I'm here for.
6. Follow your passions and dreams.
7. Ask for help when you need it, and give help when you can.
8. Celebrate your body, even if it doesn't always cooperate with your. Living with autoimmune disease can be challenging, but if you get to know your body's limits and challenge them every now and then, you may just be surprised at what you can accomplish.
9. Make sure whomever you have a relationship with respects your body and your boundaries. Don't do anything you don't want to do - stand up for yourself and your values.
10. Remember that it's ok to make mistakes - that's how we learn. And to tell your parents if you need help making a mistake right - that's what we're here for. 
11. Listen more than you speak with friends - you can speak more than you listen with your mother. 
12. Remember to nurture yourself as much as you nurture others. 
13. Stop saying mean things to your mother.
Always remember I love you!

OK, so I snuck a fourteenth thing in there, but it doesn't count because I didn't put a number before it.

Thirteen. Wow. 


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