My little girl turned thirteen this week, making us officially a house with three teenagers. How does this happen? Time is so bizarre. She was just a little babe in my arms yesterday, I'm certain of it. I can remember it like that anyway. The baby girl I knew long before I met her. What a joy it is to be her Mama, this fellow Virgo daughter of mine, who can push my buttons like no one else in the world, but also knows my heart just the same. And I think it goes both ways.
When each of the boys turned thirteen, Steve - along with some other Dad friends of his - led the boys on a wilderness trip that included a healthy dose of ritual and celebration. They don't tell me a lot about that, but I do know how meaningful those trips were for each of them. When I thought about Adelaide turning thirteen, I considered something similar. And we might just do a trip (or maybe more fitting for she and I - a visit to our friends at Koviashuvik). But I wanted to give her something different. I thought long and hard about my own teen years, and what I wish I had known, or done differently, or just what I could go back and tell my thirteen year old self. And ultimately, that's what I decided to give her. Words. I reached out to many of the women our lives and asked for each of them to share something with Ada on this birthday, something to carry with her in her teen years. I left it fairly open, wanting people to find their own way to the pages. And oh, they did! As each letter, piece of art, or poem has come through the mail in the past few weeks, I have cried many times, and smiled so many more. I bought a simple scrapbook with sleeves for inserting these pages into. And then I had to buy refill pages as it filled up and up with the love. I am SO very moved by the words and humor and good advice shared within, and it was such a joy to hand her this book. As I told her in my own letter, I hope that this book can be a reminder to her that she is never alone. That there is a strong web of sisterhood holding her up in love and light, in support and strength through all the days and years to come.
We have an exciting year ahead with this still-homeschooled thirteen year old baby girl of mine. She's chosen to spend the year fully entrenched in that community of women that I called upon for this book, as she hops from one of them to another (and back to me again), learning alongside their individual trades and talents. I'm excited to be following along.
Happy Birthday dear Adelaide Margaret Soule!