Happy 12th Birthday to my dear daughter. Watching you grow has been such a blessing in my life. People tell me to prepare for your teen years. It has me thinking about how I prepared (or wasn’t) for your early years. I read pregnancy and baby books. I prepared a nursery (that you didn’t sleep in for the 1st 6 months anyway) and a lot more! But I wasn’t prepared for how deeply I’d fall in love with you (or that it wouldn’t be instantly!), but that I’d love you more each day since your birth. I wasn’t prepared for how empowering having you naturally would be for me, how strong I’d realize I was both mentally and physically because of you. I wasn’t prepared for the fact that you’d have an ambulance ride at two weeks old, or for how scared I’d feel each time you get sick. I wasn’t prepared to work out discipline and friendship and family and boundaries but over time we work it out well. I am not prepared for your tween/teen years yet but I hope that our strong bond, the loving attachment we have grown from your early years will help us to work out those confusing times ahead. I love you! I am so blessed to be your mom these dozen years. Nothing could prepare me for the special gift you are to me!