Monday, August 10, 2009

13 Things I Want You To Know

Dear Peach,

So now you are a teenager. Life with you has always been interesting. Kinda makes me wonder how the teen years will play out. You are becoming such a lovely young woman. Hard to believe you could be like so many of those teenagers I see--I have named them Teenagericus Rabidinous Vulgaris (thank you Roadrunner/Coyote cartoons)--and I have a hard time reconciling the funny, sweet, intelligent, girl I see with the world's interpretation (and sometimes my own) of what a teen is. But I know that as you grow, I won't see you in all settings or with all people, so I wanted to tell you some things that might help you out in the next few years.

1. One of these days, there will be a young man in your life. You will be wildly fond of him. He will be wildly fond of you. Chances are good that you will like each other so much that you will want to spend all of your time together to the exclusion of your other friends. Don't do this. Don't abandon your girlfriends for any boy. Because even if you are wildly fond of each other, chances are also good that you and Boy X (known to your father as "Dead Boy Walking") will break up. You will want your girlfriends around you. The relationships you cultivate with your girlfriends can last a long time. Treat them right.

2. People will disappoint you. God will not. He may not give you everything you ask for, but He loves you more than you can imagine. He is big enough to handle your disappointment and anger. It will not change your relationship with him. He will love you at your most unlovable. Hold on to Jesus, because He's holding tight to you.

3. Laugh as often as you can. Try not to take things too seriously. You have your whole adult life to worry over things, should you choose to live that way.

4. You will mess up. We will mess up. Let's be forgiving and gracious to each other when we do.

5. Work hard. Play hard. Pray hard. Do your best. Don't let fear keep you from trying new things.

6. Don't trust department store mirrors. Keep your receipt until you get home and see how things look in your own mirror.

7. Find a passion. Pursue and embrace it.

8. Be silly. Don't grow up too fast and don't outgrow the ability to be silly.

9. Don't date anyone who doesn't treat you as well as your daddy treats you. Set the bar high! You are worth it.

10. Your dad and I always have your back. If you mess up, we're still here. Even if you think that you have no options or are afraid to tell us something, come to us. We'll do our best to put aside any upset feelings we have and listen to you. We are here to help you, no matter how big or small the problem. We're on your side. We'll always love you--no matter what.

11. Treat your siblings well. The relationships you have with them are the longest relationships you will have in your life. When daddy and I are gone (many, many, many years from now) you will want your brothers and sister in your life. I know that sometimes that doesn't seem possible, given how annoying you find them right now, but trust me on this one.

12. You can never have to many shoes, earrings, or rings.

13. You think you are invincible. You are not. Bad things can happen to you. Use your best judgment. Trust your gut. Be careful. You are precious and irreplaceable.

And here's one to grow on: Life's short. Sometimes it's good to eat your dessert first.

I know that there will be times that I want to dip you in ketchup and eat you. There will be times when you will not admit to knowing me. But I know that there will be many more times where I will be amazed by your talent, insight, courage, and maturity. Happy 13th birthday, Mags! I'm looking forward to the ride.

And always remember, you are my favorite Maggie.


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