If I did remember, I would like to write you a letter as my eleven-almost twelve-year-old self, because I bet we had a lot in common. I bet we would've been great friends.
While I can't recall the typical day-to-day of sixth grade, I can recall the overarching feeling of being stuck between childhood and adulthood. I can distinctly remember how it felt to feel like no one heard my voice...to be so sure I had important things to say.
Why won't anyone listen to me? I'm old enough to understand what everyone is talking about. I have opinions too.
But now that I'm older, I see that was a time of great development for me. A time of learning, of figuring out who I was going to be. In some ways, it was one of the most important years of my life.
So, I don't take any of your feelings for granted. Because everything in your world really is heightened. You feel things on a different level than someone who has lived 37 years. You are welcome to feel those feelings. I wouldn't have it any other way.
But, I think there's something you should know.
I am not your friend. I am your mother. There's a big difference. In my mind, God's given me a duty. To protect you. To raise you. To love you. And if I simply brush off bad behavior or sass-talk, blaming it on hormones, I don't feel like I'm doing my job.
This is a really trying time for every girl. You haven't quite become responsible, so I have to nag a little. You don't want to be told what to do, so we sometimes butt heads. You haven't fully grasped what it is you're supposed to learn...and many days, neither have I.
The truth is that while I'm not your friend, you might think that I'm your enemy. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am your cheerleader. I am your confidant. I am your teacher. Your role model. Your dance partner.
I'm the one that will hold you when you experience your first broken heart. I'm the one who creates a safe place for you right here in this house...a place where you can laugh, cry, struggle, fail, fall flat on your face and still know that you will always be loved.
To that end, I must tell you, in hindsight, I do have one regret--vivid in my pieced-together memory. I wish I'd learned sooner to appreciate the family God gave me. The mom who wasn't my friend (yet), the dad who worked hard to provide for our family and prayed over us every day, the brother and sister who pushed every last one of my buttons but have since become two of my favorite people in the world.
I wish I'd cherished them and treated them as though they were my safe haven...because in retrospect, they were.
This family is your spring board. This home is your foundation. And we will do everything we can to make absolutely sure to create the perfect environment to launch you into whatever God has for you, but I implore you now...please see us for who we are.
People, with feelings, oozing with love for you.
Let us be a part of your journey...even the ugly parts that twist your stomach into knots. Because when you cry, I will cry. And when you celebrate, I will celebrate. And when you can't speak, I will hold you.
Because I'm your mother.
And you will forever be mine.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.