Fourteen (not, four teens)

Its been three days since your birthday, and I havent written anything yet.  Its not that I havent thought about it, oh I have.  Ive just been trying to figure out how to condense your past year into one short little blurb, without tackling too much, or not enough.  Your first year of being an official teenager, off to your second year where I am told things only go downhill from.  If its anything like this past year, we are in for a load of trouble, and if its anything more, then I need to reserve a room for myself right now.

You.  Madison.  Are 14.

As of three days ago.

You have given up telling people how old you will be next year, just to make yourself all that much older, and have firmly grasped the age you have been given.  You were meant to be a teenager.  Its written all over you, and you walk the road as if you have been waiting your whole life to turn 13, or 14.  To be honest, you have.  I still remember you telling people that in “Just a few months I will be 13” when asked how old you were.  What happened to those days?  To that girl?

Someone used the word “Woman” and “14” in the same sentence the other day, and I stopped, forgot what they were talking about and had to wonder…since when does turning 14 make one a woman?  Or, a girl a woman rather.  I guess I didn’t pay attention to that, or get the memo.  Instead of telling people that you were almost 13, I would tell them you “Just turned 12” even though you were closer to 13 than you were 12.  And you would roll your eyes.  In preparation.

You are no longer that little girl that changed her clothes twenty times a day, and cried when she couldn’t find the right socks to match her shirt.  Or forbid, underwear.  (Im sorry – I told you one day I would tell the world about that).  You no longer paint your nails ten different colors, and tape your hair up into a style.  No.  Madison.  You now take twice as long to get ready in the morning, getting it right the FIRST time.  You paint your face instead of your nails, and you emerge ready to tackle the world as I stand there holding your bowl of cereal trying to ask if you want milk, blown away by this…well…woman, who has walked into the room.

You arent a little girl anymore, and sometimes that scares me.  I can deal with kid stuff, but grown up stuff I am not ready for…especially in a kid.  I feel like I should be asking YOU for advice, not the other way around.  Not that you ask me for advice anymore – you know everything, and arent afraid to say it.    You hold your own in a house of boys, and know how to get around.  You take full advantage of being the only girl, er, female, in the house.  There is no need to worry about you, although I do worry about the boy you find in your future.  He will have to be one special guy, to meet all the requirements of not only me, but you as well.  Thankfully as of this day, three days after your 14th birthday, you still arent afraid to mention your distaste in boys in general.

Although your vocabulary on describing your distaste has changed from “Yucky” to other more…sophisticated words.

Watching you over the past few years, I have seen your personality become more bold and prominent.  The little “Quirks” that we all thought you would eventually outgrown, have grown into you, and have become a part of you, making you who you are today.

I know I say this every year, but once a year just doesn’t seem like enough – I am proud of you, Madi.

Despite the attitude, eye rolling, back talking, door slamming things that we have been through this year, you are a great kid.  Although I suppose you wont want me calling you that anymore.

I must admit this year has me a bit scared.  Its been a long time since I have known any 14 year old girls, and to be honest I don’t remember much about them.  But if you are ready to tackle the year, the world, and anything either one hands you – you are more than ready to take on your 14th year of life.  You were born for being 13.  And Im pretty sure 14 will suit you as well.

I know you wont let anyone change your mind on anything, and I know you are set in your ways, convinced that you know the way – and that is good.  But don’t be afraid to see things in a different light, to challenge yourself to do something different.  You’re a great kid Madison, keep it up, show the world how its done.

Love you lots,

Still shaking behind the corner wondering how we will get through this next year of teenager-hood,

Your uncle.


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