Twelve

11 Sep

Maddy Table

Twelve doesn’t need anyone to sing for her. Twelve stands on her chair at the Hard Rock Cafe and has the assembled wait staff listen to her sing “Happy Birthday” to herself.

Twelve loves peace signs and tie dye and wishes she’d been born in an era of VW Vans and Woodstock. But she also wants her own web show and thinks she should be allowed to Twitter.

Twelve couldn’t decide if she wanted an iPod Nano or an American Girl doll for her birthday.  Twelve is complicated that way.

Twelve eschews the typical slumber party, and asks instead to spend her birthday at a historic and supposedly haunted fancy hotel downtown. And then, when Twelve chooses a movie to watch, it’s “Monsters vs. Aliens.”

Twelve cries a little when the heroine has to choose between staying a normal girl or claiming her superpower. Twelve wrestles with this choice a lot.

Twelve wants to be her own girl, to unabashedly rock out, to stand on her chair and sing “Happy Birthday” to herself complete with air guitar. But Twelve also wants to sit at the popular table, where there are rules about these sorts of things.

And I know, having been twelve once myself, that she’ll struggle with finding that balance for years to come. I’d love to let her skip ahead, but I can’t.  Because Twelve has to find that place on her own. There are no shortcuts to self assurance.

But I can hold her chair steady for her, and tell her to climb on up.

Happy Birthday, Twelve.

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7 Responses to “Twelve”

  1. Foodycat September 13, 2009 at 8:59 am #

    Happy Birthday!

    It’s my 12 x 3 birthday today, and the only regret I have about the first 2 of the 12s is not enough singing on tables and too much keeping my head down and trying to fit in. Good luck on helping her find her way.

  2. leahfu September 13, 2009 at 9:10 am #

    that was beautiful. My baby girl has 4 years to go til she’s 12

  3. Aunt Becky September 13, 2009 at 12:00 pm #

    Happy Birthday, 12! You sound like Aunt Becky at 12. Which, I think, is a very, very good thing.

    P.S. Tell your mom to let you on Twitter.

  4. ingrid September 13, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    I’m struggle with some of the same sort of things though with my twin boys. It’s hard. It’s really hard.

    Happy Birthday to your sweet girl. Good luck to the both of you. 🙂
    ~ingrid

  5. Elle September 14, 2009 at 1:44 pm #

    Happy Birthday, Twelve! You have the best. Mom. Ever.

    Don’t be afraid to stand on those chairs and sing your heart out, ok? You’ll never look back and regret it. 🙂

  6. Suziwong66 September 14, 2009 at 11:34 pm #

    Well written and oh-so accurate! I love the ‘holding the chair metaphor’ it’s perfect. You’re right; there aren’t any short cuts to self assurance and the road is rocky and keeps changing direction…and never ends LOL

    I hope Twelve has a birthday to remember!

  7. SKM September 15, 2009 at 7:11 pm #

    I really loved this – the love you have for Twelve is in every word written. 🙂

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