Dear Gwen: The First Teenage Edition


This is going to be a little different then my normal letters, but I haven't been writing here as much and I want to make this a little more... just this moment. The past year has been weird, and wild, and wonderful. 

Parts have been so hard: we had to let Daisy go, which was the biggest loss you've experienced in your life so far. The closest people you lost were all when you were too young to really get it, and the more recent losses have all been much more removed. It's been a lot of emotion to move through, but I'm so proud of how you were able to talk about your range of emotions and process them, not just that day, but in all the days since. Its been quite the lesson in the rollercoaster that is grief, something that made you even more empathetic when we had friends experience deep losses since then. 

Your anxiety is still very much a part of your daily life, but one you continue to take in stride. You're open and honest, coming to us for help and reassurance; something I hope you continue to do ALWAYS! I think they thing that feels most wild to me about you becoming a teenager is it feels so close to adulthood, and so I find myself thinking more and more of the things I want you to take with you into your teenage years but also beyond. Even when you're off in college, working and living a life that you build yourself, I want you to know that your Daddy and I are going to be here to listen, to help you hash things out, and we're always on your team. But the way you handle these extra challenges in your life, well they make me feel pretty damn confident about the way you'll keep handling newer and bigger challenges... including using us and your friends to bolster you and help you find the way. 

This past year hasn't been all challenge though... or all sad/trying challenge! You've just recently taken on the new challenge of learning the violin, all while keeping up with your school work, continuing with percussion, and becoming the DM for your schools Game Club D&D game! You're also continuing with Girl Scouts and we're in the midst of cookie season! It has not been easy, but you're working hard and trying your best, being on top of your practicing, staying after school and putting in the work. Its busy and can be overwhelming sometimes, but you're making the most of it.

I'm sitting here at my computer while you're at school, staring into the distance and trying to look back over the past year and remember every little moment that I want to preserve. I know its not possible, but what I want to remember most about this time is the little things. I want to remember that this year you started going to the gym with me more regularly. That you still love skiing and horseback riding. I want to remember that while you definitely talk to me like a stereotypical movie teenager sometimes, you also still want me around to walk you to the bus in the morning and ask for extra hugs before bed at night. I want to remember that while you're shooting up like a weed (probably about 5'1" at this point!), and so long and thin, you're head still fits just right tucked against my neck and chin. While you might not always remember to just. get. yourself. some. water. in the morning, you will easily cook yourself some lunch on the weekends - grilled cheese, hamburgers, ramen, etc... your cooking abilities very much match your palate, and are expanding regularly! 

This year you starting taking over buying gifts for people for special occasions. Saving up and spending your own money on thoughtfully chosen items, that you know people will love. 

You are into fantasy of all kinds, especially D&D related... and we have watched Stranger Things together as a family, knowing that Season 4 would especially hold your interest. You still love creating amazing things with Legos, drawing, and have started learning Welsh with me on Duolingo! You love animals, the color red, and lighting pinon incense. We've been rollerskating/blading more, and you're getting really good. You're also still an incredibly voracious reader, powering through series after series. We read the Hunger Games Series together this year, and moved on the Ender's Game and its sequels now. You'll spontaneously break into song, and when you do its just as likely to be some Classic Rock piece as it is some 90s Grunge as it is something thoroughly Pop-ie and modern. 

I want to remember that while there are moments of annoyance, there are twice as many moments where you impress me with your humor, your love, your maturity. 

I feel like I'm forgetting everything I want to remember about this time, and everything that I want you to be able to look back and remember. But the truth is, its so hard to capture all the layers of YOU, and all the pieces that make this age so damn wonderful. This stage of balancing between child and adult, of growing, changing, and holding on to the parts of you that you want to take from one stage to the next. Just know that your Dad and I love you so damn much, and are eternally and endless proud of who you are, who you're becoming, all that you still have yet to show us about yourself. You are kind, loving, and care so hard for your friends and family. We are better for it. 

I'll end here for now baby (as for better or worse, you'll be my baby forever!), with this, "Best Gwen I ever had." 


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~ Meegs