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​This is 12.

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This is 12.

But I remember 1 and 2 like it was yesterday.

And your 22 hour labor.

The 4 hours of pushing.

And the 3+ nights in the hospital.

Bringing you home and wondering why the doctors and nurses let us, as we were clearly unqualified (and scared as hell).

I took all the classes.

I read all the books.

And, still,

I dropped you once while breastfeeding.

You’ve rolled off of beds.

You’ve fallen off of swings and slides

3 (?) broken bones I think.

I remember your first word was ball.

And that such was just what we used to get to you to crawl.

But why crawl when you can walk?

That was your thinking.

And so you walked your way up and down those basement stairs of our first home in Virginia,

and not too long after,

right to centerstage at dance competitions.

Group numbers and solos. All eyes on you.

My eyes on you.

Their eyes on big sister.

The best big sister you are.

And friend to those you know.

And foe to no one.

And no one doesn’t notice you when walk into a room because you light that bad boy up — all of ‘em.

This is 12.

And at the mere age of 12, you’ve somehow managed to become this






very intelligent,



powerhouse of woman,

and I’ve just got to say,

I’m in awe of you.

In awe that I made you.

In awe of who you are making yourself.

In awe that I get to grow up alongside you.

I’m not the best mom.

But I’m giving you my best, and I promise that I forever will.

This is twelve.

And it looks good you.

But then again, so does every year.

I’m excited for this next one of yours, and I’m here for you always.

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