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Officially the parent of a teenager

So, it happened. My first born is officially a teenager. How this happened, like most parents would likely say, I don’t really know.

I mean, I remember the years leading up to this day. But they flew by so fast. It seems like only yesterday my husband and I were driving home with her from the hospital and I was yelling at him to drive slower even though he was already doing 45 in a 65.

Yes, if you haven’t guessed it already, we had her young. Looking back I realize how much I was just a child myself when I found out at the age of 21 I was about to be a mother. Nothing can prepare you for that moment, regardless of your age. Much like nothing can prepare you for the moments later in life when they reach milestones you remember reaching yourself not too long ago.

And although it has been a good amount of time since I turned 13, it hasn’t been so long since I remember holding my first born in my arms and wishing, if possibly for the first time in my life, for time to move a little slower.

Although I must confess, I didn’t always feel that way.

There were times I paced the halls for hours when she had horrible colic for her first six months of life. There were times she was so frustrated learning how to walk, talk, read and write I wanted to yell at the top of my lungs right along with her. Then there were times more recently when we took her away from the only family and friends she had ever known, and she screamed and cried not understanding why. In those times, I swore she would never forgive me.

It is in those moments, I wanted time to move faster. I hated seeing her frustrated and upset and would do anything, like speed up time if I could, to make sure she never had to feel that way again. But, like any parent looking back, I would trade just about anything to go back and relive any of those moments over again. Because regardless of how hard we try and stop it, time keeps moving forward, and you end up eventually missing even the hardest of times if it meant you got to hold on just a little bit longer.

Through the last 13 years, I have watched her grow. From a fussy baby so determined to walk and be on the go. To a Disney’s Rapunzel/Frozen obsessed little girl that thanked me for giving her a little sister when she first laid eyes on her.

I’ve seen her find herself in softball and watched as she transitioned to makeup and junior high dances. And through it all, I have been blessed to grow with her and build not only a great relationship with my daughter but my best friend as well.

I know we all boast about our children, a habit I think inherited the second they are born. But without a doubt she has grown into a beautiful young lady with an amazing heart that is so big I can’t help but be proud.

She is growing up and finding out about many “new” things in the world.

And through it all, the innocence she chooses to maintain is what will always set her apart, and what will always make her a rare bread in a world that tends to be obsessed with the wrong things. They don’t make or raise them like her anymore. And for that, I am truly thankful.

So, to you, my beautiful 13-year-old daughter, you make me and daddy so proud every day. We are so truly blessed to be your parents and love you more than words can ever express. We’ve enjoyed every second of the 13 years we have been able to love and cherish you as our daughter, and can’t wait to watch as you grow and mature in life, forever thankful that we get to be a part of it. You give us such joy and we could never imagine our lives without you.

To all the years before and the many more to come.

Happy 13th Birthday Ava Rose!

We love you Boo Boo.

Brittany Fuller is the community editor of The Jessamine Journal and Jessamine Life magazine. She can be reached at brittany.fuller@jessaminejournal.com.