Lucky 13! My sweet baby girl is 13. Every year I can’t believe how much Colette has grown and matured, but this year feels different. My heart is feeling nostalgic about our past and anxious about her future at the same time. I’m sitting in a hotel room missing her party tonight. It was my decision so I could avoid potential illness exposure before my upcoming appointments. It’s not like I would have been hanging out with her friends as they chat and play silly games, but I miss seeing it all unfold and hearing the happiness.

I have to share how incredibly proud I am of my #clevercolette. She had a vision for how she wanted her party to look, and given my guidance about what would fit in our budget and how much energy could be contributed, she made it happen. As timing would have it she turned 13 in the midst of #taylorswift #erastour craze, so she planned quite the #swiftie party. (If you didn’t know, 13 is Taylor Swift’s favorite number.) She made some impressive graphic design for her food signs navigating the canva app seamlessly. She made two Taylor Swift quizzes—one with much help from #cleverdevil, the other with me as her minion. Now, this was a special birthday party, we’ll be more low key again next year. I’m sure she will create another impressive event, but on a much smaller budget!

Not only did she impress me with her event planning skills, she is just an impressive kiddo. She’s now a teen having moved on from tween. Of course the tweenage/teenage developing brain doesn’t allow for the absence of overwhelm and meltdown, but she is very good at recovery and repair. For her, those moments of overwhelm are infrequent. Generally we can communicate and use her coping skills to return to baseline and problem solve. She is respectful in her tone with us, and she isn’t eager to always get away from us. Peers have of course become a higher priority when doling out her time and energy, but she is still connected with us enough to know how she is moving through life. While I know things can change, I am just so proud of her and so grateful that we have a healthy, loving relationship. She is on a great trajectory for a happy and healthy life.