Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lydia, who is about to be 13.

I remember studying human development in graduate school, and the parallels between toddler-hood and adolescence. We. are. there.

I feel really close and connected to her. She still sits on my lap. She will walk down the street with me and hold my hand. She "branches out" in independence, comes back for re-assurance, and then goes out again.

There are many late night tears. Can't go to sleep. Feeling lonely. Scared. Her need to know we are here, and we are still in charge is fierce. Yet, she wants to be her own person and make her own decisions, and face her own reality.

She is CRAZY goofy. And sometimes we think this is really funny. Sometimes we think it is not.

She is excited to measure her growth as much as possible. She has a very healthy appetite and the need for vigorous exercise. She works hard in school. She is trying very hard to navigate her way through middle school with grace and dignity.

My girl, who is beautiful...
because she cares about important things.
because she is genuine and unapologetic about who she is.
because she smiles broadly and cries deeply.
because she loves all little things: children, animals, and plants.
because she creates beauty with her words, her violin, her paintbrush.
because she notices pain and sorrow in the world, and wants to make it better.
because she is.

Love you, my darlin' little girl. So glad to walk this way with you again.


  1. Jen, you've got the art of loving down.

    This post sure tugs at the heartstrings. Oh, I love this girl: who she has always been and who she is becoming.

  2. yes, yes, yes.

    sweet child.

    sweet mama.

  3. This makes me tremendously excited to watch Sophie grow. Love and strength to all of you.

  4. I recently passed on the breast pump that had been handed down to me through several other women. Before I gave it away, I removed a photo from the inside which I believe is a photo of Lydia as a newborn. I'm saving it for you. For lack of a better place to keep it, it is on our fridge. :) Happy birthday, Lydia.

  5. Beautiful words for a beautiful 13 year old. We love you so, Lydia! Happy birthday to you and happy birth day to you, Jen.