Yesterday you turned 13 years old.
I am now the mother of a teenager. And it doesn't freak me out at all because who you are at 13 is what most people are trying to achieve in adulthood. Ok, it freaks me out a little but I'm doing my best.
At 13, you love soccer and tennis and music. You are running for ASB (vice-pres again!) for the next school year. You are working hard on earning your Eagle Scout. You are studying daily and put in your time with algebra which is annoying now but will more than pay off when you don't have to take it in high school. You are figuring out ways to earn money for yourself. You are the best babysitter around to your siblings and never complain when asked to fill in for me or dad. You take things seriously, whether it be Senior Patrol Leader or planning an activity. You are developing a wicked sense of humor that often mirrors me and dad but is also uniquely your own. You are an accomplished writer who comes up with the most fascinating stories. You are a few hairs away from being officially taller than your Mama. You are finally starting to have a real appetite and ask for food all the time. You are kind and sweet and so easy to love. You make me proud every second of every day and I will never tire of cheering you on in whatever you do.
At 13, you are driven and concerned with doing what's right. You have started to talk of college and missions and it overwhelms me to think of how little time I have left with you. Five summers separates you from the real world and I would be a fool not to admit that the idea makes my heart hurt. Five summers of watching you grow and seeing you accomplish your dreams. Five summers of that smile that comes so easily to your face and lights up our world. Five summers of dance parties in the kitchen, House Hunters at night, and the race from one sports practice to another. Five summers to convince you fully that you are capable of changing the world and that you have work to do. Five summers to love you with all that I have and pray that you'll know that every day of your life.
Happy Birthday Spence. You are a dream come true.