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  • Writer's picturegalpod

A Letter to My Daughter on her Thirteenth Birthday



My love,


My, how you’ve grown this year.


I say this every year, and every year, it’s true. But this year, I feel like it’s particularly true. You are transitioning from a girl into a woman. This year has seen you fly on your own to take care of baby cousins, deal with friendship and relationship drama, and figure out who you want to be and how. It’s a lot.


Sometimes, I forget that you are a big girl. All of the time, I want that life will be easy and smooth for you. I want to fix everything that’s going wrong in your life. But, as you reminded me just the other day, I can’t do that. And you don’t want me to. You want me to listen to your complaints without fixing them, and that’s difficult for me to do. But I try. 


What became abundantly clear this year is just how much style you have. You are definitely more stylish than almost anyone I know, and I sometimes feel positively frumpy in comparison. Fashion was never my strong suit, but I thought I was kind of ok until I realised just how much I can learn from you. I like being able to consult with you before a date night. Like anything you do, you know exactly what you want in fashion, too, which poses a bit of an issue for your budget. But you’re learning how to deal with that as well.


You are still a fantastic dancer, and I feel like this year, you’ve really grown into it. You participated in a bunch of dance competitions, and in each, you were graceful and kind to your competitors. You worked hard and accepted winning–and losing–with professionalism that belies your age. I’ve seen grownups behave much less gracefully when things don’t go their way.


This year, I wish for you to remember the secure base. As you go out and have adventures with your friends and make decisions that seem incredibly consequential, I want you to remember that here, you can be whoever you want to be. Whatever happens out there, you can always come back home.

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