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    Posted November 30, 2013 by
    Atlanta, Georgia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Confessions from imperfect parents

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    A letter to my 12 year old daughter


    Happy Birthday.


    12 is different. It's not like any other year. Here's what could happen to you this year, with some advice from your dear, old mom who remembers 12 like it was yesterday but can't remember where I put my purse 10 minutes ago.


    At 12 your hormones kick in. You will, at times, become a sulky, horrible brat. I want you to know that I forgive you. I know it's just the hormones and that you're really the best kid in the world. Except when you're a horrible, hormonal brat.


    This is the year you will question where we come from. You'll spend hours lying in bed worrying about life and death. I want you to know that whatever you come up with will be as good as any other theory out there. You are free to follow any religion you choose, or not choose. Just be a good person. Be moral because it's right, not because you're worried "God" might strike you down if you are not. About death: Sash you are 12. Do not worry about death until you are 102.


    At 12 you may get your period, grow boobies, get pubic hair. This is no cause for panic. There are solutions. Tampax, bras and wax. The best part will be asking dad to run into a store and buy you Tampax. This will never get old.


    At 12 you may have your first crush, first boyfriend, first kiss. My first boyfriend was Jeffery and I am still friends with him. My first kiss was to a boy named Serge. I do hope your first kiss is to some boy with an exotic name like Serge. Trust me, it'll be far easier to remember. And yes even though at the time it will seem like that's all you will think about, by the time you are 16 you would have kissed enough frogs, um sorry I mean boys to have forgotten a Tom, Dick or Harry.


    If you are not in the least bit interested in boys and want to wait a few more years… I commend you. Hormonal boys are smelly, gross creatures. Daydream about doing incredible things: art, fashion, science, math, sport and saving the world rather than a boy. I wasted too much time boy-dreaming and not enough time on Math.


    At 12 peer pressure becomes a big deal. Wearing the same pair of $120 jeans as the popular girls will not make you cool. Having your own style will. Be a trend setter rather than a sheep. Sheep get shorn.


    A word on those popular girls. It's always nice to be popular and well-liked but not at the expense of a girl who isn't. Never be mean. Never be nasty or bitchy to another girl. If you are ever teased or bullied have the self esteem to know you are stronger than they will ever be. If you are ever bullied to a point where you feel the situation is hopeless, know now that it is not. At that point you need to speak up to us. Roar!


    You will probably be offered a cigarette. You may smoke it even though we forbid you. I want you to know that accepting that cigarette will not make you cool. It will make you vomit.


    One of your friends will probably try to sneak you a beer. Drinking it will not make you cool. It will make you vomit.


    You are 12 and sometimes at 12 things get downright stupid. I'm talking about drugs and sex here. You are far too young for either. If you make a bad choice and realize halfway through: "Oh crap, this is bad." You have the power to stop and call us. We bought you an iPhone for that exact reason. There's an app for that, it's called Parents. Yes we may yell and punish you, but a bit of parental discipline is nothing compared to what can come of a big mistake. I can promise you that we won't judge you.


    Always cover or hold onto your drink at a party or gathering.


    You know how I told you we monitor you when you go online. This is a lie. I can hardly comprehend what this Cloud is, let alone work out all the sites you may or may not be looking at. I'm told Facebook is for us oldies and you guys are into whatever the new sites are to avoid being our friend on Facebook. I just want you to know there are bad people who stalk 12 yr old girls online. If something doesn't feel right, chances are it isn't. Only connect with people you know exist in the actual world. Never accept gifts from strangers. Never give out your name or address.


    Remember what you put online can not be undone. Even if you delete.


    Use sunscreen everyday. When I was 12 we didn't know about baking in the sun. I'd oil my body up like a thanksgiving turkey. Now I'm getting wrinkles and wishing I had just used sunscreen.


    At 12 you will think you know it all. You don't. I'm 41. I know it all.


    At 12 you will think you are cooler than your parents. You are.


    At 12 you will want to wear high heels. The answer will be no.


    At 12 you may want to wear make-up to look more grown up. No amount of make-up will make you look any older. You will look like a 12 year old trying too hard or you will look like a clown. The choice is yours to make.


    At 12 you'll fight with me because I'm your mother and at times you won't like what I'm saying, won't agree with what I'm saying, won't believe what I'm saying and won't listen to what I'm saying. And that's fine. I'm raising you to have a mind of your own. Just please don't argue for the sake of it. Think first. Then react. NEVER shout out that you hate me. And if it slips out, because sometimes a tongue is a hard body part to control, I hope it's said in anger and never as a true feeling.


    I will always love you.


    At 12 you will love your sister and the 2 of you will be the best of friends. Ok that's probably not going to happen. Not this year anyway.


    Don't be Grace. Wash your face.


    At 12 you will slam your door a lot. Try not to. Doors have feelings too.


    At 12 you will be more hungry than you have ever been in your life. You will always be hungry. Make smart choices. Eat fruits and vegetables. Make yourself like them. In the long run your body will thank you or loathe you for the choices you make at 12.


    12 is an epic year. The gate-way to everything really. I hope you embrace it with humor, love, wisdom, sense and intelligence. I have every bit of belief that you will. Happy birthday my love. Happy 12th Birthday.

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