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.