My First Baby is Eleven

Birthday Cake2

Janie is eleven today.

She’s still young enough to be excited by the magical possibilities of her birthday and a bit disappointed that she’s off school today—stupid Polar Vortex—so she has to wait to hand out cupcakes . . . but old enough to worry that none of her classmates will want to come to her party, which is at the end of the month and may or may not clash with the party of a friend.

She’s growing up, all over, and isn’t sure she likes it much. Puberty, she tells me, is kind of gross.

The struggle between her present and her future has begun, and even as she fires the first volleys in her righteous war of independence, the changes in her body and swings in her moods scare her.

It’s going to be a bumpy ride for all of us. ย I can see the potholes from here.

But as long as she lets me, I’ll listen and hug and do my very best to show her that she’s loved and loveable and lovely.

Because that will never change.

My Beautiful Daughter


22 thoughts on “My First Baby is Eleven

  1. Happy Birthday to my oldest Granddaughter, who is getting older, more grown up, more beautiful and charming each day. I am so proud of you.

    Love you,


  2. Alfred Adler said, “The goal of the adolescent is to prove that she is no longer a child.”

    When you think of it, the ways one can do that range from terrifying to exasperating to beatific. Naturally, since all of us chose the latter way, I’m sure my granddaughter will too. One thing we know, alas, the experience cannot be avoided.

    Nevertheless, have a very happy birthday and a wonderful, challenging, and fulfilling journey forward.

    • I’d laugh so hard at that, Kim, if I weren’t so worried.

      Let’s see . . . when Sunny is eleven, Sam will be 15 . . .

      So I have approximately eleven years of teenagers to look forward to, starting now, because this ‘tween business is a crock.

      Whee! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I hated being off from school, too. Winter break was always 12 days too long for me.
    Snow days, though, that’s another story. Of course, it was warmer than the surface of the moon most of the time, so we could go out and enjoy it.

    Happy birthday, Janie! Copy the bit where she says “…as long as she lets me, Iโ€™ll listen and hug and do my very best to show her that sheโ€™s loved and loveable and lovely…” You might need it as evidence/a reminder by the time you’re thirteen.

    • I think she was thinking more about cupcakes than classes, Lisa, but, yeah, vacation has overstayed its welcome for everyone.

      I’ll show her your comment, Lisa, but we’ll see!

  4. Happy birthday, Janie! You still get to bring cupcakes to school?? Between the peanut police and the sugar gestapo, we can bring…pencils. No wonder my youngest hates kindergarten. Who, aside from librarians, snacks on pencils?

    • Pencils are full of fiber . . . never mind. ๐Ÿ™‚

      She can bring cupcakes if they’re commercially made (ingredient lists are key), as her school makes sure there are special treats available for kids who have food allergies. Whew!

  5. Once again, I am late to the party. Hope Janie’s birthday was as special as she is.
    To Janie: always remember, you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and (gosh darn it) people like you!
    Sarah: the mantra for the next few years is: it WILL get better!

  6. I understand why she’s upset. The kids I teach are sour when they can’t share their birthday with their classmates. But I’m sure the clashing parties won’t be an issue–kids will go to multiple parties! Or at least I hope it doesn’t conflict. Happy birthday to Janie! She IS lovely and with a wonderful mom like you, her growing pains won’t be nearly as painful. She’ll see!

    • I hope it won’t conflict, either—we’re trying to get in touch with the other parents, but this week has been so weird.

      I hope you’re right, Lisa—about growing pains, I mean. You’re absolutely right about the loveliness. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I’m late to the party, but Happy Birthday to beautiful Janie! She’s got a point about puberty, and womanhood in general, though it sure beats being a boy. XO

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