Happy 12th Birthday to my oldest

People are usually surprised when I tell them I have an 11 year old.  Wait until I say, 12!  Well, I did start young.  I had Carissa when I was 19.  (I’m 31 now.)  It is not easy having a baby so young.  I think I was born with baby instincts, so I did handle it well.  I grew up caring for younger cousins and siblings.

I remember the day she was born, she changed my life.  I grew up right then and there.  Not that I was far off.  I had a tough childhood, therefore grew up a bit faster.  At that point in time, my life was about my survival.  Doing what I needed to to take care of myself.  Now this wasn’t about buying myself a Coach bag or affording my lavish lifestyle.  It was far from it.  It was truly about surviving.  Making sure I could pay the rent, eat, and maintain transportation.  Living on $6.25 an hour and expecting a baby is not easy.  But then this beautiful little baby came along.  Life was no longer about my survival, it was about hers.

When you have your first child you experience this insane love.  Now I know with some it takes some time, but it does come.  With her, it was instant.  I just didn’t know how deep that love went.  And for no good reason!  This baby did nothing to prove herself or earn my love.  She was simply born.

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Now she is 12 and beginning to test her limits as a teenager.  Things are changing, she is changing. She is a young woman and that scares me.  Will I do right by her?  Will I know when she needs me?  Will she come to me when she needs me?  Am I giving her enough space/freedom to learn and grow?  Does she have enough responsibility?  Will she be okay? Is she happy?  Is she being treated well by friends? Does she treat them well?  I feel like this is the age where I can really screw up our relationship or make it incredible.  I’m so scared I will fail.  I just love her so much.

So happy birthday to my first born.  You were the first to bring the love to my life that I had been missing.  You completed my world and gave me a purpose.

Photo Credit: Kristine Kraft Photography (because she doesn’t like me to photograph her)

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