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dear meg, on your fourteenth birthday

dear meg,

you are fourteen today. this one feels significant. there's lots of reasons why.

this memory of you has been on my heart a lot lately. you were five and on your way to catherine's pink princess birthday party. you were not going to go as a pink princess. there was never any question about that. and you were so sweet to carefully pick out her a present (and a giftbag--see Elsa?!) that she'd like. you just weren't going to change anything about yourself along the way. i took this picture on the way to her house that day, a mama anticipating what you might experience when we got there and also struck by how chill you were about the whole thing--how true.

now, at fourteen, i'm still so struck by how true you are. truly meg. honestly, you're a bit of an enigma. LOL you're often hard to read and don't say much or express a lot.. you leave us guessing a bunch. and, your unwillingess to people-please or perform or conform is such an inspiration. your quiet kindness and regard for all of life is simply so beautiful. so true.

i want you to know how much i love you--how much i love how true you are to yourself. i want you to know that i want to be true, too. like you, meg.

they don't tell you when you are a kid that your parents are growing up, too. it's easy to think that adults are "done", that old people have "arrived" and "have it all figured out". i know you've never bought into this LOL.. even though you likely know this already, i've been growing up alongside you. in other words (news flash!) i have not been the perfect mother. remember the time i forgot to submit your photos for fifth grade graduation? oof.

anyway, as we celebrate your fourteenth birthday, i'm in awe of all the growing up we've done. there's been a lot. this day feels like the truest we've ever been--you, me, our whole family. i pray you feel this, know this, and can continue to live more and truly, more and more free.

it's the gift i most deeply want to give you.

this is the greatest gift of all.

life is too short, too precious. and your light shines too bright not to let it radiate out from every pour of yourself. just like it did when you wore that orange monster costume to the pink princess party.

i love you, meg howton.

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