And just like that I have a teenager

Today is Grace’s birthday.  She turns 13 although I have joked that she has been a teenager since she was 13.

Birthday’s are huge deal for any kid!  Mine is a summer birthday and I remember every year thinking how unfair it was that all of my friends got to celebrate at school and I never did.  Now they allow kids to celebrate their half birthday at school if they have a summer birthday.  I am torn as to how I feel about this practice.  I felt jilted for sure but this everything is fair crap also annoys me.  I digress, this isn’t about my birthday is it?

As swimmers, birthdays are more than gifts, parties and cake.  Birthdays are the lifeline to the status rankings of swimmers.  At yesterdays swim meet, Grace was sitting pretty.  The reigning queen of 11-12.  Next week she will be a mere babe in the world of 13-14.

Swimmers can rattle off the ages of all of their friends, they know the month and date of their birthday.  I am not sure my kids know when my birthday is!  I have no worries about Grace being the bottom of her age group next week.

When Grace was a baby she had two nicknames, Peanut and Princess.  We adopted the name peanut because when I was pregnant for her she was tiny.   When she was born my Doctor looked at us and said “she is a tiny little peanut”.  She now towers over me.  We dropped that nickname early on.  We also called her princess until she was about 11 and she asked us to stop.  Grace felt that princess held a connotation of being better than everyone else.  She liked being just like everyone else at that age.

Grace to me defines being a princess.  She is intelligent, poised, kind and dignified.  She possesses a maturity level beyond that of a 13-year-old.

Being Grace’s mom is an honor.  She might be the bottom of her age group but she will always be top of the world to me.

Happy Birthday Grace.  We love you.

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