Upon turning 12: a birthday interview

Twelve years old. That’s only one year before the teenage years. In fact, if I want to be realistic – it’s the start of her 13th year. Sigh… My oldest. She used to look like this:

And now she looks like this (when she’s not rolling her eyes anyway):

Twelve years ago, my husband warmed up the car at approx 5am and we drove to the hospital for a scheduled c-section. The staff knew we were coming and thought we were Jewish, because who else would schedule a birth on Christmas Eve?? (A mother with a child in such a position that she couldn’t risk going into labor, that’s who.) It was dark when we got to the hospital and I remember hanging out in our room watching the Today show while they prepped me for surgery. They wheeled me into the operating room at 8am and 18 super-fast minutes later our daughter was born. My first view of her was her tush – she loves it when I say that 😉

I see her tush a lot these days too as she’s walking away from me – usually in disgust at some rule I have the nerve to enforce. But even on the days where she appears to hate me I know that inside is the sweet little girl that used to tell me the most elaborate stories, who would fill notebook after notebook with drawings, who would hold my hand until she got the full picture of a new situation and then jump right in.

She’s not such a little girl these days. She’s getting closer and closer to my height. She gets jokes that she never used to understand. She goes to school dances, babysits and can often be found with her ipod in her ears. In her social studies class this year they were studying a unit on America and she was the only one in class that raised her hand nearly every time when the teacher asked who had visited American landmarks – Grand Canyon, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Rocky Mountains, Appalachain Mountains… the only one she missed was Niagara Falls. I wonder if her teacher knows she hit all those places in the very same year.

She ventured off into Middle School this year and for the first time has to ride a bus home each day. For the first time her mother didn’t get to walk her into school on the first day either. She’s on swim team again (for the 3rd year) and played in a basketball league too. She’s on honor roll at school and is an altar server at church. She also tried something brand new this fall and joined the cross country team:

She leads her siblings in hours of imaginative play. But, if she has her choice, would also spend hours in front of the television. She likes to wear her pajamas as long as humanly possible on the weekends. This year she drove coast to coast on summer vacations. She walked the Mackinac Bridge. She dressed up as a nerd for Halloween and went trick or treating without any parents. She competed on math bowl and was on her school’s founding chapter of National Honor Society. She’s had the same best friend since she was 4 years old.

Some days she gives me a glimpse of the tantrum-throwing toddler she used to be. Other days she takes my breath away with a startling peek at the amazing adult she is becoming. Here are a few of her favorite things:

color: lime green
food: bacon
vegetable: corn
drink: cookie dough milkshake from Steak & Shake
part of school: lunch
sport: swimming
thing to do: hang out with my friends
movie: Secretariat
song: Grenade by Bruno Mars
game: Apples to Apples
book: woah – that’s a hard one… The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
restaurant: Red Apple (local breakfast joint that serves bacon waffles)
holiday: Christmas
animal: tigers

What did you request for your birthday dinner?
bacon cheeseburgers

Tell me about your friends:
They are silly and random.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
An interior designer.

If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
Hawaii because it’s so pretty and I’d like to go swimming there.

What do you love about each person in our family?
I like to watch sports with Dad. I like coming home and seeing you waiting for me, ready to talk about my day. I like hanging out with E and playing Legos with J.

What were some of your best memories from this past year?
Starting middle school. Going on the Great American Road Trip and seeing all those exciting sights. Just random everyday stuff I guess.

What are some of your wishes for this year?
Keep cutting my times in swimming. Make the 7th grade basketball team. Run cross country. I would love to go somewhere out of the country. And I’d like to see the Gulf of Mexico – then I will have seen all the big bodies of water around America.

Each year I interview my children on their birthdays and write a post about their year. My hope is that someday these musings will spark special memories. Search for ‘birthday interview’ over there on the right to read previous posts.


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