Happy Birthday to my baby sister, Haley, who is turning 13 years old today. It feels like just yesterday that I was anxiously waiting in the delivery room for her to arrive. Being 13 myself when she was born, I have a super vivid memory of the moment I found out she was a girl (even though I thought I knew all along).
Realizing my baby sister is becoming a teenager today at 4:17 pm is bittersweet. It’s likely that the next 5 years will bring experiences her way that will change her life forever … She’ll start and graduate from high school, have a boyfriend or two, start driving, get her first job, and who knows what else! Thinking about all of this leaves me with some advice for her:
- Don’t forget your family – The next few years will be crazy. Mom and dad will drive you nuts and give you advice you don’t want to hear. Trust them … they’ve been there. We love you so much, always remember that.
- Get your heart broken – I hope you fall in love with a boy and live happily ever after. However, if it breaks your heart, that’s okay too. Knowing how it feels to have your heart broken will make you appreciate those who love you even more.
- Don’t be proud – Always be yourself … Don’t let other people determine your happiness. If you like/want something, but others think it’s dumb, ignore them. Accept advice and gifts from others … cherish the things people do for you.
- Embrace your friendships – The girls you are friends with now might be the girls standing next to you when you get married. Don’t take them for granted … Let no boyfriend get between you and your girls. After all, he’ll probably break your heart … your best friends will be there when that happens!
- Be adventurous – Get involved with sports. Take part in school activities. Fall in love with music & art. Go on hikes. Learn an instrument. Ride roller coasters … Whatever it is, don’t be afraid! You can do anything you set your mind to!
- Don’t be in a hurry to grow up – We were all 13 once, and boy, sometimes I wish I could go back when life was so much more simple. Before you know it, you’ll be in college, then graduating, then buying a house/car and paying all of your own bills. Granted, being an adult is pretty darn fun, too, but treasure these years. They’re likely to be some of the best of your life!