Twelve years old already. You are growing up so fast and so beautifully. It’s amazing and inspiring to see you become more and more “you” every single day. Here’s what life is like right now.
You are still, and will likely always be, my responsible one. We let you babysit your siblings for an hour or two here or there and you do great. Rules are a big deal for you and you try your best to follow them. I anticipated this first year of middle school to be a tough one, but you have adjusted so easily that it’s a bit unnerving. You don’t need to be tell you to do your homework or to study for a test. You know what you need to do and you just do it. It’s a wonderful quality in you! You seem to be a little better at finding balance, too. You don’t seem to pressure yourself too much the way you used to and I am so proud of you for learning how to steady yourself.
You are a wise young woman. Frequently you see how words could or do make someone feel and you adjust accordingly. We’ve had great discussions about things that have happened at school or elsewhere and I love to see that you are processing all of these things with a kind, but truth-seeking heart. I trust your decision-making and applaud the way you think things through.
You are still a great big sister. I know it’s not easy to be the oldest. We’re making all of our mistakes on you. Ha! Just kidding. But seriously, you are blazing a trail and I am so glad for the steps you are taking and the path that your siblings can watch and learn from. You aren’t perfect, but you are a good kid and I am glad for the example you set. You love to read to Hunter. You play cars or trucks or farm with him all the time and he loves you for it. You and Maddie are super close and super different, but you are still good to her. I love that you play together still. Hearing the two of you giggle when you have sleepovers (every night) is a sweet joy of mine even if it does drive your Dad crazy.
You have this natural ability with music that still stuns me. You have sung with me on praise team several times and never seemed intimidated. You can play just about anything you want to on the piano, it seems. Same goes for trumpet. It is not at all uncommon for me to be getting ready in my bathroom and hear you playing a song from The Greatest Showman on the piano or trumpet. You have this wonderful ear for music and can pick out a tune so quickly. You also have an amazing high soprano voice – higher than mine. You just get music. It’s a language you speak easily and fluently and I am so proud of the way you so faithfully build that talent.
You are not the boy-crazy type of girl. You think that it is embarrassing and hilarious if a boy “likes” you. You shake your head in bewilderment at kids in your class who are boyfriend and girlfriend. All of that is a bit beyond you. And yet, you love reading age-appropriate romances. You are caught in this strange in-between stage. Sometimes you play and sometimes you tire of toys. Sometimes you want to wear the comfy easy clothes and sometimes you want to dress up. No matter what way you are leaning on a given day, it isn’t a battle with you and I am thankful for that.
One of my favorite qualities about you is your contentment. You never seem to really be wanting things or clothes or experiences or stuff. You are happy to just be comfortable with what you have. I rarely hear you complain. I hope you can keep that in your heart for your whole life.
I’m loving these preteen years and I didn’t really expect to. I thought we would have more disagreements and conflict. Some people tell me that is coming and maybe it is. I don’t know. But that isn’t really your personality either. We get along really well, you and I. You are super logical and it is easy to reason with you. You feel things deeply and more often than not I have to watch my words that I don’t unintentionally wound you. You are very level-headed and not a roller coaster of emotion. You surprise me with the way you take risks I never thought you would take, the bravery you show when I would think you would be too shy, and your willingness to try new things that would scare me.
I see so much in you that can only come from one place – Jesus. God has given you so many wonderful qualities of His own – qualities that I struggle to exhibit. I know He is teaching you and shaping you and guiding you in His own perfect way. I watch the promises He made in your baptism come true each and every day. Maybe, the world won’t always notice or applaud the quiet, reasonable, wise girl that you are. What you have isn’t the kind of showmanship that normally gets a lot of attention. But Reagan girl, I see you. I see the bright beautiful person that God has designed you to be shining through. There may be times when you doubt that down the road, but I want you to know I am always looking for the best and brightest parts of you and they are never hard for me to find. You are so very loved by Him and by all of us. I am indescribably proud to be your Mom and so grateful that I get to celebrate YOU on this Thanksgiving day.
Happy Birthday Reagan. I love you so.