June 29, 2012
Filed Under (Family, Good Times, The Happy Sad Things) by svana

I am utterly gobsmacked.

On June 29, 1999 my wee girl came into the world. Today she becomes a teenager. I’m torn between being the supportive Mom who has absolute, utter pride of watching this extraordinary child take her first steps toward adulthood and the Mommy who could fix any wrong in the world with hugs and kisses.  These are the days where I feel the need to check my expiration date, because pretty soon she won’t need my guidance or advice…or that’s the way it may feel.

So, while I have the chance… I’d like to hand off a bit of wisdom that she may or may not take.

Thirteen things to know as you turn 13:

1) No one person has all the answers.

Kiddo, you are going to meet people that seem to know exactly all the right things to say at the right times and seem to have all the answers. The truth is, only you will have all the answers you need for your path. Taking one person’s truth and re-making yourself to fit that truth is the greatest lie and disservice you could ever do to yourself. Trust your own wisdom, because ultimately, it will be you walking the path and you will need to choose your shoes for that journey.


2) Opinions are like assholes…everyone has got one.

Not everyone is going to agree with you or you with them. If we all agreed on everything, there would be no growth, no forward motion and no dreams. You know what your deal breakers are, respect that others have deal breakers too. You have every right to your opinion and feel free to defend your opinions. You are smart enough to know how to defend your ideology and beliefs without beating someone into a pulpy mass. Have fewer battles and more debates.


3) Never date a guy who wears white pants.

I’m very happy to be proven wrong on this point, but it has been my experience that any guy in the Canadian climate who wears white pants is someone who can’t be trusted.


4) Guys who spend more time in front of the mirror than you do…avoid them like the plague.

Invariably, any guy who spends more time making himself pretty is either a narcissist or really insecure. Either way, dating a guy like that is exhausting, and really pointless. You spend your time reassuring them or propping their ego up…constantly. Ask yourself: if looks are that important to the person you are with, what is underneath all that? It doesn’t matter how pretty the cake is, if it leaves a bad taste in your mouth…why bother?


5) One true best friend trumps 20 faux friends.

People are going to come and go through your life for various reasons. Your best friend should be someone you can trust without reservation. This type of relationship doesn’t just “happen”, it takes time, trust and effort on both sides. Aside from your Dad, I have one Best Friend and a number of people that come damn close to being a best friend.  I would far rather have one or two people who are close to me and care about me than 20 people that don’t really care, but say they do.


6) Popularity is a lie.

Wearing the “right” clothes, having the “right” hair style, hanging out with the “right” people…it’s a lie. Every step you take away from being the person you know yourself to be in order to fit in with the popular crowd, the harder it is to navigate through the coming years. Don’t discard who you are for what someone else tells you should be.


7) Keep a journal.

Find a time to write down what happened in the day. Take the time to vent, celebrate, ruminate, laugh and mull over. Do it in your own hand, in a bound book that you can revisit as you need to. Your memories are precious and being able to look back at what has happened allows you to see how much you’ve grown.


8) Let your freak flag fly!

Being brave isn’t always easy, but it is easier than trying to be something you are not.  Be who you are…without limits.


9) Words count…use yours wisely.

As we well know, words can hurt or heal. Knowing what words mean is important but even more so, how to apply those words. Anyone can cuss and swear, those words don’t take all that much imagination. We’ll get you a Chambers Dictionary…and failing that, look to Shakespeare if you want to tell someone off. Having said that, once those words pass your lips you can’t take them back. Try to look beyond your initial indignation and try to determine whether or not it is really important for you to tell someone off.


10) Beauty is not on the outside.

At first glance, some people look beautiful, some look average, some look plain and some look pretty rough. However, as you get to know these people, your idea of beauty will transform. The most beautiful person in the world, visually, could have the blackest soul…and as you get to see more of that, you become aware of how ugly that person truly is.

Compassion, generosity, wit and humour are qualities that mature but do not age. They never get wrinkles and when these qualities are coupled with beautiful soul, you have timeless beauty.

As the old saying goes, don’t judge a book by it’s cover.


11) I will scare all your boyfriends.

This is a fact. It’s not Dad they’ll need to watch out for, it’s me. If I scare them away, they are not worthy of you.


12) If your Dad says, “I don’t like the way that guy treats you”

Your Dad is a gentleman, as such, he believes that a woman is to be treated with respect. If your Dad has seen something that has bothered him enough to speak up and step into a place where he feels he must say something to you about how you are being treated…Pay attention, he is not speaking from a knee jerk reaction, but from a place of observation.


13) We love you, no matter what.

We are not always going to agree with choices you make, but we will always support you in the choices you make for yourself.  You are our child, and we will always love you. We will do our level best to back off and let you scrape your knees, watch you grow in your best direction and watch you make your own big decisions. There will be some tears as the years go by, but I’m confident that the tears will be dulled by laughter.


At the end of all this…

I could not be more proud of the person you are and I am blessed to be your Mom.

Happy 13th!


I love you forever and always.



One Response to “Thirteen things to know as you turn 13.”

  1. EB :) Says:

    Where were you when I was turning 13? Where were you period!?
    My life would have been so much better if someone had come to me & told me this.
    It’s funny though…this is much like what we tried to instill on Booger when he was growing up. A day never goes by that we don’t tell him that he is loved, appreciated & valued…something that I did not have in my childhood. In the ranking of ‘who is loved’ in the family,I always came somewhere after the neighbor’s dog. Not so great for self esteem I can tell you.

    Most important one…#13 – no matter what…we will always love you.
    Yup…even people that did not give birth to you…will love you just because you are who you are.

    Can not tell you how honored we were to be invited to the celebration of this lovely young lady turning 13. She is indeed a reflection of the best of her wonderful parents & family. What a winning combination! What a blessing she is.

    Much love now & always.

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