Today you turn 12 years old. You asked me yesterday why your dad and I are not excited about you getting older. Well, it’s mostly because as you grow up, you start to build your own life, you make your own decisions. We no longer get to be involved in every aspect of your life. You grow more independent, you prepare for adulthood. In another six years, you’ll likely be planning to move out to start your own life.
That’s why it’s scary.
Because it feels like yesterday that you were this big:
and it’s hard to believe that you’re already this big:
Sometimes I can’t remember when you were so little, and other times the memories flood back instantly. Because I clearly remember giving you this fauxhawk:
and that you loved to eat raw potatoes while I made dinner.
I remember those outfits, and I remember your little curls. I can instantly bring myself back there to that time when it was just me and you. A lot has changed since then, hasn’t it?
You are now a big sister, and you can be a fantastic big sister when you want to be. (Sometimes you can be a turd and you know it.) I love it when you and your sister get along well. Nothing brings me more joy than when you two are loving toward each other.
Your little brother, on the other hand, has you wrapped around his little finger. Unless he comes anywhere near your room, then he has hell to pay. He loves to do anything his sisters are doing, and you girls are usually good at accommodating him.
You love people, you love animals, you love learning to do things on your own. You love movies and video games and being outside. You love spending time with your parents (don’t stop loving that, okay?), and you love helping us whenever you can. You don’t much like showering, but you don’t fight us when we suggest it might be a good idea to take one.
We’re heading to our second lake in as many weeks and I know you will love it, because you get to be around a big group of people, where you are totally in your element.
And then your Grannie will take you away for three weeks and our house will be so silent the four of us left won’t know what to do with ourselves. We’re going to miss you.
Happy Birthday, Miss Kaylie. I’m looking forward to spending the weekend camping with you, and I hope that you remember to stop growing up so fast.