You are 11 going on 34 and you are cool as heck! Your embrace of music has come full circle this year. You have learned to play the guitar and sing without hesitation. You’ve taken over my Walkman, my Spotify account, and my Billy Joel tapes and made them your own. You’re welcome. We have quite evolved beyond our Jim Croce car sing-alongs but if the trade-off is listening to your beautiful voice, I’ll take it!
You are infatuated with justice and have a particular empathy for those unable to defend themselves. This is not a “liberal” disposition, it’s not genetic, and it’s not political. This is a strong compassion. You were not born into it, it’s inside of you. Your sense of right and wrong, of service and duty is of your own making. I wish I could take that credit but it’s all you babe, all the way.
As ever, the artist in you is alive and kicking. Your fashioning and re-fashioning of materials now finds itself taking shape in space. Your creations are unique and admirable. Do what you can, with what you have, where you’re at. You’ve nailed it. Just think, it only took a decade for you to become the awesome person you are now. Man oh man, can you even begin to imagine how cool you’ll be in the next 10? Sheesh.
Your courage has been tested and it will continue to be especially with middle school coming up. So here’s the dreaded mom advice that comes with these letters, I’ll try to keep it short but I’m not making any promises.
Remember Rule #1: Don’t let anyone, no one, not anyone, ever, ever, ever; rob you of your light. Rage against the taking of your light because yours burns bright! Folks are drawn to you because of it. Some will try to use it, to manipulate it for their own. Some will try to stand in it to become it. And there are some who will simply work to destroy it because they can’t understand it. Don’t let them in. One very popular scenario in pre-teen times (aka: tween times) is the girl who wants to be your friend just to become friends with all of your other friends. Said girl will eventually abandon you once she has taken light from you. And although you will always have your true friends and your uncanny ability to make new friends, this can be painful. Save the pain, save your light for those who don’t want anything from you!
Remember Rule #2: Hate takes root in the dark and it will devour you, don’t let it in. Stand your ground, lock your door and take pity on your foe. The bad guys are the sad guys.
Remember Rule #3: You have solid instincts. I’ve seen it. You now have a body of proof, a decade of evidence to suggest that your keen mind and strong gut are reliable. Let that guide you. Your heart is humble and giving. Your mind has been made strong to protect it. So let it. If something feels “off” or “not quite right”, it is off and it’s not right. When that little voice tells you to run, RUN! Listen to your instincts. Trust yourself, because I know I sure do.
Phew! See that wasn’t so bad (see your 2nd birthday letter to compare)
In the grand tradition of these letters, I find myself getting a bit to sobby to continue so I’ll leave you simply with this: You are a Good Person Sophia Jane and no one can ever change, refuse, or deny that fact.
I love you and thank all that is holy for you every day of this gosh darn life. I am honored to be your Mother.
I love you,
PS: I will get you more books on the Holocaust, I promise.