A Letter to My Daughter on her Eleventh Birthday
Read this on galpod.com.
My, how you’ve grown this year.
It’s been a tough year, no doubt. With the onset of puberty and the pressure of secondary school places on top of the general craziness, we’ve had some rough patches. But I’m proud of both of us for knowing when to ask for help and coming out on the other side of these patches even stronger and closer together.
You’re so curious about everything. It’s the perfect time to be curious. You’re starting a new school in September, a school you’ve worked hard to get into. This is just the time to reinvent yourself if you want. It’s exactly the time to question who you are and what you love. And it’s ok not to know the answer. In fact, it would be a bit boring, I think, if you already had all the answers. Now is the time to learn new things about yourself, what you like and—more importantly—what you don’t like.
Although you’ve grown a lot over the year, so have your friends. You are still shorter and maybe a bit behind physically. It’s difficult, being the smallest. It brings about disappointments and heartbreaks. You don’t know how often I wished I could take these away from you, protect you from them. But I keep reminding myself that this is where you shine. These little cuts are the places where you grow a thicker skin. You should look at them, acknowledge the hurt, and then heal them—preferably with a cuddle.
The coming year is all about change. It’s scary, especially if we’re not sure what we’re changing into. But even though we wobble sometimes, I want you to remember your base is secure. Your foundation is well laid. You are strong, kind, sensitive, and bright. Just hang in there; you’ll get through.
And if you need your charging station, you know where to find me.
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