When your daughter turns eleven, you look at her and squint because you’re starting to lose the picture of the little girl she was and an entirely different person is coming into focus.
When your daughter turns eleven, you can only shrug because you realize she is acting just like you acted at her age.
You are scared for her, a little, because you remember the hurricane of emotions she has to deal with. You were an 11-year-old girl, too, and can’t forget how hard it was to be eleven. When your daughter turns eleven, your own emotions, reminiscent of the girl you were, quickly flip from melancholy to excited. You’re mourning the child she’s starting to leave behind, while anxiously anticipating the young woman she’ll become.
When your daughter turns eleven, sometimes you have to force yourself to take a step back and let her make mistakes.
It isn’t easy, but you know that she has to learn those hard life lessons for herself, just like your parents let you learn them. She’ll be stronger for it, even though you want to protect her with every fiber of your being.
When your daughter turns eleven, you hug her tightly, wondering if she’s going to keep letting you hug her so fiercely in the years that come.
When your daughter turns eleven, you smile because you see who she’s becoming.
You smile because love her kind spirit, her faith, how hard she works, and how passionate she is about her big dreams.
You smile because she’s still only eleven, and eleven is so young. Even if she doesn’t see it that way.
Happy 11th birthday, Meghan Jane. We love you more than you could know.