Abbee is just as special at 13 as she was newly born. She still makes me smile. She still makes me proud to be her mom. (The exception to this may be when we are eating. That girl's table manners are lacking in every way!) But, for the most part, Abbee's personality hasn't changed much in the last 13 years.
As I've considered being thirteen again, I began to think of all the things I wish I had known. I feel certain someone shared these thoughts with me. I didn't listen. But, oh the despair that could have been avoided had I!
In hopes that maybe someday, Abbee will at least be able to look back and say, "Mom, you were SO RIGHT," here's a list of the 13 things I wish I'd known at thirteen:
1. You will (for the most part) grow into your feet.
2. Shaving your legs is over-rated!
3. Zits suck. And you will always get one the day before pictures, or parties, or prom. It's natural teenage law. I'm sorry.
4. Procrastinating always comes back to bite you. I don't recommend it.
5. Enjoy the ability to run, jump, flip, and physically exert yourself in all manners. One day, it will hurt for days afterward. You will wonder why this has to be. No one will know!
6. At the risk of sounding like Martina McBride, dance. If there is music, you should dance. It's completely normal no matter how many people may be staring at you! Everybody wants to dance. Be brave enough to do so!
7. Don't believe anything another 13 year old says about you. Their perspective is skewed. It's not their fault, but it doesn't change anything.
8. The people who love you most will still be around 20 years from now (give or take a few deaths). Most of your friends will not. Consider this when friends are urging you to do things from which the people who love you most would encourage you to abstain.
9. Dressing like a slut is dumb. It makes you look trashy and easy. Neither of which is Christ-like.
10. Beauty really does start on the inside. Outwardly beautiful, hateful girls are a dime a dozen. Inwardly beautiful girls are rare. Dare to be in the minority!
11. All other 13 year olds feel just as insecure as you. Thirteen year olds that bully are usually even more insecure than their peers.
12. While you may be smart, you are NOT WISE. Thirteen years is not nearly enough time to gain any sort of useful wisdom! So, listen to those who have lived much longer.13. When "no" is the answer, there is probably a good reason that comes from our overwhelming desire to protect you. When you can't understand that, trust how much we love you. And, know that our decisions, even when they are wrong, are motivated by a love you can't possibly yet understand.
I love you, Abigail Faith. May thirteen prove to be everything you'd hoped!