Today we celebrate your 13th birthday. My heart swelled with joy to watch you laugh so easily this morning and bask in the glory of your special day. My wish is that all your days can be like this. As you turn 13, I thought about how there are no real "right of passage"customs for black girls like in other cultures (Hispanic culture-quinceanera or in Jewish culture-bat mitzvah), but there should be. Please accept this letter as a right of passage from me to you as you enter into teenage years.
I want you to know that there are both triumphs and challenges ahead of you. Your path will be filled with promise, but it will also be filled with pressures that may be hard to imagine right now.
You are resilient enough to handle it. Even though you are older and more independent, I anticipate you will need me now more than ever. I am here for you and I love you more than words can express. This next phase of life will be about me starting to let go and teaching you how to take over the reigns of your own life.
Remember to Trust Yourself
When you were just a baby, you learned to trust me. You trusted that when you were hungry, I’d feed you and when you needed comfort, I’d be there for you. Just as you have trusted me to do what is best for you, I now want you to learn to trust yourself to do the same.
Don’t Dim Your Light for Anyone
My sincerest prayer is that you won’t ever dim your light for anyone. Know this: anyone who would have you dim your light because they can’t handle the glare is not worth it. Your talents were given to you by God and I want to you to shine your light without apology or hesitation.
Learn From Your Mistakes
We all make mistakes. The best thing to do when you fall short is learn from the mistake, but don’t dwell on it because it’s a part of being human. My hope is that you will learn from your mistakes and move forward wiser. There are a lot of broken people in this world who are so obsessed with being perfect, they can’t admit when they’re wrong. Be able to admit when you’re wrong and if you can, try to make things right.
Fear is an instinct that is designed to protect us from harm. But if we are not careful, it can also keep us from experiencing truly amazing things in life. If you want something in life, go after it with everything you have. Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.
Cherish Every Moment
You are 13 now, but before you know it the years will have flown by and you won’t be a teenager anymore.You’ll be an adult woman with responsibilities of your own. The time will go fast, so I want you to maximize every moment and create beautiful memories to look back on one day. You have so much life ahead of you. Take the time to cherish every moment along the way.
I love baby girl. Forever and Always. Thank you for choosing me to be your momma. Happiest birthday to you.