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Today You Are 12

2019 April 9

Today you are 12.

You look 12. You looked 12 yesterday and you looked 12 the day before but I swear you only looked 11 the day before that. I guess that’s how time gets you. It passes right before your eyes.

Today you are flannel shirts and Vans and hooded sweatshirts and jeans that are too baggy on you, hiding away your frame behind layers and layers of clothing. Comfort over cool.

Today you are size 7 shoes. Women’s. Throwing on my size 8s once in a while just because you (almost) can.

Today you are drawing all the time. Sketching animals, mostly. Giving them each names and personalities and back stories. You find the inspiration online and then copy it from there but your natural talents are showing through the borrowed lines already.

Today you are still a reader. All the time, any time, every time. You don’t discriminate. You will read pretty much anything you can get your hands on and you will have four books going at once. We stop in every bookstore we see – especially the old used ones – and we go to the library twice per week because you always need something new to read. I hope you do this forever.

Today you are into Spotify and YouTube animators and this show called Gravity Falls. You assure me it’s appropriate. You’re 12 now, so I believe you.

Today you are bagels and cream cheese for breakfast. Every darn day. Still not that into fruit. Or vegetables. Or anything beyond bagels and cream cheese, for the most part. I hope you don’t do this forever.

Today you are one of my favorite people to hang out with. You make me laugh and you make me think and you make me see the people and places around me in a different light.

Today you are Coldplay, The Beatles and any musical soundtrack you can find. You’ve just begun playing the piano and already have a natural ear for it. I can’t wait to hear more.

Today you are sleeping in on weekends and staying up until close to 10pm. You have to be pulled out of bed for school most days. Except today, of course.

Today you are a good friend. You are navigating the early social chaos of middle school with grace, kindness and an open heart. You have found your tribe but you are liked well beyond it, too. And you never let anyone get you down for longer than a minute or two.

Today you are a natural leader. Not in a bossy, obvious sort of way but in an effortless, easygoing manner. We say you are going to change the world in a quiet way. One with meaning and true impact.

Today you (still) hate PE. I don’t blame you. You don’t hate me for making you run cross-country this year but you gave it up, nonetheless. I don’t blame you.

Today you are still four years older than your brother. But those years are feeling wider and wider with time. You still hang with him and spend time with him and laugh with him, but you value your own time just as much.

Today you are 12. You are my past and my future at the same time. I see so much of me in you. I see so much of 12 in you. I see so many amazing years ahead in you. And I can’t wait to be there every step of the way alongside you. Lending my shoes.

Happy birthday, D. x

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