turning 12 Princess

Dear Daughter as you turn 12

Tomorrow Little One, you turn 12.

You object to my calling you Little One, saying, “Mom, I’m not little anymore! I’m almost a teenager.”

dear daughter as you turn 12

To which I respond, no matter how old you are, you will always be my Little One.

I’m warning everyone right now, this note is a jumbled mess of craziness. I wish I was more organized as I wrote it, but it’s where I am right now as her Mom.

Parenting can be tough

I’m sitting here attempting to write this after we’ve had one of our not fights. This past year has been tumultuous. You are trying to find your place in the world, and it’s hard. For both of us.

You are a strong, brave, intelligent young woman. One minute.

The next, you are a petulant child wanting nothing more than to cry because life is hard, and you’re convinced we expect too much of you.

dear daughter

Eleven is hard.

I’m not going to lie, it was hard for me too (when I was eleven)

I don’t expect twelve to be easier.

Not because you’re not amazing my precious child.

No, because you want everything to be right and fair, and the world is not that way. I wish it was.

You look out and see clearly. You see what the world could be, and you pour it out in your words, and in your great love for everyone.

turning 12 Princess

Friday is your birthday party. This year you decided you have more than enough, and you want to give back. So for your party, we are creating Christmas presents to send to the Navajo. I’ve order canvas bags, picked up some extra Sharpies, and we’re going to pack those bags with all of the special treats 11 and 12-year-old girls will love. We’ve got stuffed animals, coloring supplies, and who knows what else we’ll find to put in the bags. I’m excited.

Twelve is a hard age for a young woman. This year I’m your small group leader at church and I see the dichotomy clearly in your grade. Half of the girls are teens in their mindset and their behaviors, and the other half are still children. Slowly each of you will leave behind dolls and childhood.


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We’re here at the Seton Williamson #trunkortreat and the #americanheritagegirls are happily handing out candy. I’m proud of my little tea fairy. One #homemadecostume down.

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Tonight, we went to see Crazy, Rich, Asians together with your Dad. It was a spur of the moment decision, we left your brothers behind and they played Minecraft all night. You happily came with us and brought a doll to cuddle. I love that you bring a stuffed animal with you to every movie you see, and it’s a big deal trying to decide the perfect doll to bring with you to watch the movie.

I’ll miss it when you no longer do that.


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The clone troopers are protecting the princesses as they go on a picnic. #cousintime #childhoodismagic #playmatters

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I just reread the last couple of letters I wrote to you. I keep saying the coming year is hard, that’s because I think the years between 10 and 13 are some of the hardest for a young woman. I’ve been proud to watch you draw a group of girls around you that know who they are in Christ, and who they want to be when they grow up.

I don’t mean their careers. I mean who they want to be as friends.

Here is who you are at 12 years old

You know the meaning of true friendship.

You know a friend is not someone who is mean to your other friends. You cooled a friendship with another girl who did not treat your best friend well.

You know the meaning of integrity.

These past few months, you’ve struggled with getting schoolwork done and keeping up your volunteer hours with Mimi at her church, but when push came to shove, you kept up your responsibilities.

You are a hard worker.

I am amazed at how hard you work. You have high standards for yourself, and you don’t stop until you have your work done as near perfectly as possible.

You are an example to others.

Every week, two-year-old Little Acomes over to our house, and it is the highlight of her week. You treat her as if she is an equal, and work to include her in the games you play with your friend who is over at the same time. Her mother tells me all about how much Little A talks about you and can’t wait to come over and see you.


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We made it! #universalorlando #familyroadtrip

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So, my little one, I can’t wait to see this year. You are navigating troubled waters with strength and dignity.


Prior letters




One response to “Dear Daughter as you turn 12”

  1. Happy birthday to Princess! You are right – she sounds a lot like A. These years ARE hard, I hope we will go through them while still keeping close to our “little ones”.

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