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img_3158Dear Reese,

Today, you turn 13! You are going to be a teenager and I don’t know if I’m ready. I’m not worried you are going to do “bad” teenage things. You are too smart for that. You will do some silly things. You will talk back. You will assume the world revolves around you. You will be an asshole.

Guess what else though? You will also make me proud. You will continue to amaze me and keep me in awe of you. You are so smart; I don’t even think you know how smart you are. You are strong and sure of yourself and clear on what you think is right and wrong. You love your hair and so do I. You are beyond sensitive. You maintain a blasé attitude but those eyes give you away and you don’t know that yet but they do and there is nothing I love more than those eyes.

You are quick witted and funny. I am excited for you to grow up so I can share things I find funny with you once it’s appropriate! I am excited to see the man you will become. I’m also sad and a little hesitant. We are entering a time of your life that is going to go fast. You are going to start high school before we know it and then, the next thing will be graduation, and then big plans. Those plans do not include staying at home. You have smart, well thought out, and mature plans – I don’t know why I’d expect any less of you.

You’re reminding me, with this birthday of yours, that the next few years may have a few bumps but that we need to focus on the good more than the bad because then you’re going to leave. I know you’ll be back, just like your brother and sister, but you’re the last one of ‘mine’. We all know that Rhett is a lot like your dad and that’s good! We all love him and that giant heart and personality of his. You though? You are quietly and wickedly funny. You are sensitive but also full of fire. You are fiercely loyal. You and I can exchange a look and that’s all we need to know what each other is thinking. You are mine.

For now, we’ll continue to fend off the naysayers of your long hair together. We’ll poke fun at your dad and sometimes take it too far. We’ll sing in the car together. We’ll tag each other in memes we both find hilarious. I’ll watch you work hard at a sport you love and even when facing adversity or less than ideal circumstances I’ll watch you push harder. We’re going to fight. You may actually take the cake in infuriating more than any of your siblings put together but it’s only because when you’re angriest and you look at me and those eyes are filled with all sorts of emotions (with anger at the forefront), it’s like looking into a mirror.

You’ll go to high school. You’ll learn to drive. You’ll graduate and every once in awhile, if could just bear with me while I stare at you and soak you in, I’ll be forever grateful. Oh and when you do move out whether it’s to go to school or otherwise, if you could humor me as your brother and sister did when I broke down sobbing? That would also be nice. I’ll try to keep it short. Steven’s advice to your sister was “Do it (as in part ways with me) in a public place.” He’s a real thoughtful guy…

For now, Happy 13th Birthday! Bring on the pizza, movies, video games, and farts!

Love,

Mom

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