December 23, 2011

on being thirteen...


Today my sister Nikki turns thirteen. I can hardly believe that thirteen years have passed since we first brought her home from the hospital on Christmas Eve.

Nikki has always felt a bit like a mini-me. She is incredibly creative, a true dreamer, always with a song in her heart and a bit of a dance in her step. She's growing into such a beautiful and talented girl. I kind of can't wait to see all she has yet to do in life. I have no doubt she will shine, no matter what path she chooses to follow.

I can't help but remember being thirteen, myself. Becoming a teenager is a pretty huge thing. Even though it's just a number, I still remember feeling so…grown up. Mature. Listening to my favorite songs in my room, putting on make-up in my mirror and thinking I was probably going to fall in love for the first time in a matter of days. Ah, yes. Such bliss.

My advice to Nikki, on her thirteenth birthday, is the following:

Always be proud to be you. Embrace all the lovely, quirky, millions of tiny things that are a part of who you are. In life, there are always going to be those girls who don't like you, boys who ignore you, and people who you wish you could be more like. But if it's one thing I've learned, it's that those people don't really matter. There will be hundreds more girls who can't wait to be your best friend, boys who want to catch your eye, and people who wish they could be more like you.

Find your favorite song, and sing out loud. Even if nobody else is singing. Remember that it's okay to be a good girl, a nice girl, the one who cares a little too much. Be proud of your faith, your beliefs and your incredibly silly side.

Don't rush it. Try to enjoy being thirteen. Believe me, before you know it you'll want to go back to these days and probably wish you wouldn't have been so eager to grow up. You'll get there. Just enjoy where you are in each moment, every day.

And remember that I'm always here (even if far away) whenever you need a friend, sister or confidant.

So, I'm asking you, my darling readers: If you were to give one piece of advice to a thirteen-year-old girl, what would it be? Please share your wisdom (or perhaps just a birthday wish for Nikki!) in the comments.


  1. Happy Birthday Nikki!! :) If i could give one piece of advice it would be that even when you feel like things are so bad, you always have tomorrow, and things will get better.

  2. Happy Birthday, Nikki!!! Be who you are - because that is so important. Family, friends, crushes... Anyone who matters will love you for YOU. Also, don't believe naysayers. You can do ANYTHING you dream of!!!

  3. Happy Birthday, Nikki!

    I spend a lot of time with teen girls. If there was anything I wish they could know, it would be this: everyone is jealous of one another, everyone feels upset and sad and alone. Everyone has days when they feel less than beautiful. But the truth is that you are enough, just as you are. You are perfect and lovely. Embrace who you are, and don't try to imitate anyone else. Also, enjoy this time. You have plenty of time to be all grown up.

  4. Awww... Happy birthday!

    My advice: Enjoy everything. Don't let "everyone hates high school" become your self-fulfilling prophecy. I wasn't "popular" or "cool," and a lot of sh*tty things happened, but I still enjoyed and valued that time in my life. And those friends? Are still my closest to this day.

    Your life can be what you make it. So make it good. Make it count. :)

  5. Happy Birthday Nikki!
    Enjoy life, take time to find out who you are! Try not to worry about boys, God will bring you the perfect man one day.

  6. Happy birthday Nikki!! Remember that if you think no one understands you, the fact is that we've all been through the things you're going through. Talk to your sisters! They remember how it felt. Heck, Kerri even has the journal entries to prove she was there! ;)
    Make sure to be you, but experiment and find your style.

  7. Happy birthday! Having only turned fourteen the other month, I can't really give advice, but what I will say is please keep a good relationship with your mum. Please!

  8. I loved my thirteenth year, it was the year I changed from quiet, ├╝ber-shy, Hermione-esque into a loud, strong-willed little adult. I had a friend who got bullied because she was a little different; I had two friends who developed an eating disorder; I made friends with boys and learned that usually, especially in teen years, being friends with a boy typically means said boy has a gigantic crush on you; my mother and I started fighting, A LOT and that continued for the next six years (but we're great friends now!); and I started trying to figure out who I wanted to be, hung around different types of people, trying to separate myself from my family, etc..
    But my advice? The very best advice I can give to thirteen year old is to keep your confidence, stay true to who you are, do not let anyone else make you feel bad about your choices, stay level-headed, and keep up with your school work.
    A very happy day of birth to your sister!

  9. Happy Birthday Nikki! I hope you have a really good day :) Christmas Eve, what a great day to have a birthday!!

    I guess my advice for you, Nikki, would be that during your teen years try to remember to have a good attitude and patience with everyone around you. I know that I didn't always aim to do that during those years. You will NEVER regret being NICE. Never ever.

    PS. Kerri, you are doing NOTHING to stop me from wanting to give my son a sibling ASAP heh ;)

  10. My advice would be not to compare yourself to others. As girls we often let the fact that another girl is pretty or popular bring us down for some reason. We get jealous or whatever. But the fact is, we can BOTH be pretty. We can BOTH be popular or smart or athletic. Just because another girl is pretty doesn't make you LESS pretty. There is room in the world for many pretty girls, smart girls, funny girls.

  11. I wish I could tell Little Helena to value herself more. People made fun of my (kind of severe) acne, and I let them and considered them friends because it was better than being alone. Later, high school drama would get out of hand and I'd cry at things that seemed like the end of the world at the time. I guess everyone goes through this in some way. Through it all, just value yourself, treat others with respect, and it will all work out.

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  13. (Had to repost)

    Happy belated birthday, Nikki. I'm going to give you a few tips because I don't have a little sister.

    1. Love as much as you can, and make sure that they love you just as much as you love them.

    2. You will always be the family favorite because there aren't any siblings after you.

    3. Be the strongest, funniest, best you that you can be. No one else matters.

    4. Always be compassionate. Compassion = a good heart and that is the best quality that anyone can have.

    5. Spend as much time with your sister and your niece as you can. You're the cool aunt, so you're going to have to come up with some advice and stuff that keeps your cool cred.

    6. Laugh hard and laugh a lot. It'll help you live longer, and always wear sunscreen.

    7. Blondes (except Kerri) do not have more fun.

    8. It doesn't matter if the most popular guy doesn't ask you to dance or if you get an F on a paper. It matters how you decide to react to it and most of the time, it's best to laugh about it and keep going.

    9. Always listen to your big sister and your parents. They know more and your sister is the only link to your childhood once your parents are gone.

  14. Happy (belated) Birthday Nikki. My advice is going to be a little of what I wished I knew at 13.

    1. Don't take your family for granted. Even if you don't see it now, one day you will see how important family is and wish you did more things with them.

    2. Boys are stupid. Girls are mean. Don't let their actions define you.

    3. You are special. In a good way. There is no one else in this world like you. Period. Don't worry about your imperfections but everyone.... yes everyone has them. Embrace them.


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