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Dear Kaylie,

Today you turn 14 years old, which is completely weird. Though I guess every year it will be weird that you are the age you are, since you’re my first child; you’re my guinea pig. I hope you don’t mind.


You graduated from Grade 8 a few weeks ago and you start high school in the fall. This means that we have only four years left to train you to be an adult; to help prepare you as best you can so that you can go into the world and thrive. Can we do it? Will you cooperate? Ok, let’s do this thing.

When you grow up, you want to be an artist. You have many art supplies and you use them in some way almost daily. Your walls are full of things you’ve created. Your dad and I receive a creation of yours for our birthdays and Christmas, and you make things for your siblings as well. I hope you achieve your goal, and I hope you’re still creating things for us when you’re working for Pixar.

You love video games; you play with your dad and siblings pretty much every day. Your current favourites are Minecraft on the XBOX 360, Planets vs Zombies on the PS4, and Splatoon on the Wii U. You’re lucky your dad is a video game/console collector so you have many systems to choose from. (And a public library your dad visits often to get you new games.)

(Yes, I know it’s actually Plants vs Zombies.)

You spend 80 kajillion hours a day on your iPod talking to your friends and watching Minecraft videos. (Although you’re currently on hiatus from iPod.)(You’ll likely get it back by Christmas.) I’m pretty sure you and your friends barely know what a home phone is, or how to use it. Kik is your world.


Your younger sibling adore you. They look up to you, they want to be like you, and they want to do everything you are doing. Sometimes you are so great with them and sometimes not so much. Speaking from experience as the eldest sibling, say yes to them as much as you’re able. You won’t regret it. (Not that I always said yes to my younger siblings, but I wish I did more often.) Liliana especially wants to spend all her time with you, but Preston wants to be involved when the other two of you are doing something that doesn’t include him. They love you so much.

You recently got your own room and you are so stoked about it. I know it’s hard sharing a room with a six-years-younger sibling, and I’m glad we could provide you with your own space. You are gaining more independence and therefore more responsibility, and also trust. Remember that the three go together. Responsibility + trust = independence. Lack of one or two of the former decreases the latter.

I love that we have so many similarities. Similar taste in clothes and shoes, the former of which I sometimes hand down to you and the latter of which you often ask to borrow; similar taste in movies/TV/books, like Harry Potter, Star Wars, Hunger Games, Twilight, Firefly, the episodes of The X-Files that I let you watch, anything written by Rainbow Rowell, and other things I don’t remember at the moment. You recently told me that you want a tattoo just like mine, which obviously means you’re not ready for one. But you’re now designing your own, which you’re planning to get on or around your 18th birthday.

You’re heading off to camp this afternoon, and you somehow often end up at camp on your birthday. I’m pretty sure you like this fact, though this year you don’t want anyone to know it’s your birthday so I’ll be sure to inform the camp director as well as your cabin leaders. You want to work at camp in the future, and I fully support this. I loved attending/working at camp growing up, and I’m excited for you to have the same experience.

You’re very outgoing, much more outgoing than I am. You’re quick to make friends and meet people, and you enjoy singing in front of the youth at church. You have self-confidence, something I hope never goes away.


Giving birth to you was one of the three best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m so grateful that I get to be your mum and I hope for a bazillion more years with you, especially when I’m old and I live with you and you take care of me and you change my diapers.

Happy birthday, you weirdo.


Categories: Birthday Letters

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