Monday, December 9, 2013

Team Teenager

Today my Justice turns 13.  An official teenager, complete with eye rolling and under-her-breath-muttering.  I was 20 years old when we got pregnant with her. A college student not that far off from being a teenager myself.  Completely unaware of how this incredibly scary event would be the most pivotal occurrence of my life.  As a 21 year old mother, your birth was supposed to be a disability to me, but it is in fact because of you that everyday I am fueled to think and do big.  You were our first child, and you set us on our path.  I will always be grateful to you for motivating us to live such a blessed and meaningful life.  It was because of your birth that we all went from being individuals to being a united family.  It was because of the beauty and sweetness that emanated from you the second you were born that a village and community were formed.  This 6 lb. 11 oz little girl, born 2 weeks early with fur on her ears and too much yellow in her skin tone created Mamas, Papas, Sisters, Amas, Nonnos, Litos, Aunties, Uncles and Cousins, all with her first breath.
Despite your Mama and Papa's inexperience, and at times flat out stupidity, in caring for and raising you, you have turned out incredibly.  You survived all of our first-time-parent mistakes and exceeded all of my wildest dreams for the person you would become.  You get undoubtedly cooler with each year of your life.  As you become more responsible and independent, there is no denying what a gift to this world you are.  You are constantly showing me how kind you are and how seriously you take your role in the world.  Always an upstander, I have watched you be an ally and a leader amongst your peers.  Even at such a young age, you are a role model to everyone that meets you.  Whether its watching you walk into the batter's box as the only girl on the field and face a pitcher almost twice your size, getting your 4.0 report card in the mail, seeing you move with such grace and strength in ballet class, watching you bang your drum in the streets to represent and love your neighborhood, or hearing about how you helped organized "Sasha Day" at your school to raise awareness and support for Sasha Fleischman; no one can walk away from you without feeling inspired. 
As you make the transition from childhood to adolescence I see it at the time for you to impact the world the way you have impacted our family.  Now that you are old enough to be independent and out in the world, imagine all the positivity and change you will create as a big-bad 13 year old. 
I figure if you could live through all of our parenting fails and still be as great as you are, then it is time for us to trust you that we will make it out of your adolescence, and all the mistakes and fails that you are bound to make, and be okay on the other side.
I am sure that no matter how many hormones go pulsing through your body during these next 7 years, they can't take away your shine.  Happy Birthday Big Girl, here's to the next 13 years of Justice!

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