Today my sweet daughter is a teenager, 13.  On this day, 2001, my life was forever changed, I became Caroline’s mom..


Her huge blue eyes seemed to stare straight through me, and question me all at the same time.  I remember ‘chatting’ with her that first week, (I really thought it was my job to entertain her), and in a brief flash I saw her all grown up.  She was tall and beautiful, smart and funny, strong and kind.  And now, well on her way to being all grown up, she is not there yet, that is exactly who she is becoming.

She inherited my mother’s height, at 13 she is only 1 inch shorter than me.  Long limbs serve her well, she is an amazing swimmer, with ribbons to prove it, and can run a smooth pace, she has several 5k’s under her belt.  She is a natural at most sports, although competitive sports are really not her thing.

Caroline is an amazing student, schoolwork has always come very easy to her, with little effort.  She is very observant, curious and  competitive in and out of the classroom.  She has spoiled her father and me by always staying on top of her assignments and studies.  With out a doubt she has her work done, always.  I’d love to see her spend more time reading, and maybe one day she will come to love books as much as her parents.  Right now she’d rather ‘make and do’, she’s as crafty a girl as you’ve ever known!

I asked her brother on the way to school yesterday, what was his favorite thing about his sister, “She really makes me laugh, hard!”  He’s right she makes us all laugh!  Re-telling silly stories, singing goofy songs and hilarious observations on everyday life.  She lights up a room.

She has a very strong character, she knows her own mind and is not a bit shy in expressing it.  Even at 6 years old she would never hesitate to make her opinions known.  Let me just say, it drove me crazy when she was younger, I am into obedience with my kiddo’s, not debate!  As she is growing older my earnest prayer is that she will hold strong to her convictions and always stand up for her beliefs, even when they aren’t ‘popular’.  Strength of character needs to be exercised regularly to be maintained.  So far, so good.

As I kiss her goodbye every morning, I remind her to ‘Be Kind’.  Middle school is tough,  but kindness is a strategy for success.  From my vantage point she is heeding my advice well.  Kindness, patients and empathy, qualities not normally associated with teenagers, my girl is one of a kind.

I could go on and on about how pretty she is, and she is, but I think I’ve laid out a pretty convincing case of how she looks on the inside.  She’s exquisite, and that’s really all that counts.

I just hope that she doesn’t forget it, not for one minute.

That she won’t try too hard to blend in, she was born to stand out.

That she will always remember how much her dad and I love her, even when she screws up.

That she is a child of God, and He wants her to shine brighter than the stars He created!

A teenager, my baby is a teenager, 13 years, gone in a flash,





11 Responses

  1. Jessica-Jean
    Jessica-Jean January 15, 2014 at 12:34 am | | Reply

    Mine will be 39 and 41 in the course of this year, and the calendar says I’ll be 68 next week. It’s all gone by so fast!

    Treasure each moment with her; she’ll be off in a moment.

  2. Mary
    Mary January 15, 2014 at 4:28 am | | Reply

    Wow Claire, I loved reading that beautifully written piece. It brought a tear to my eye.
    Sounds like you have done an amazing job with Caroline’s upbringing.
    Beautiful family. Go girl.
    Thanks for sharing.
    God Bless.

  3. Marlena Judd
    Marlena Judd January 15, 2014 at 4:34 am | | Reply

    Now whats that old saying??? Beauty IS, as beauty Does!! And it would seem to me that you have instilled in your daughter all the fundamental things to be a truly ‘beautiful’ person. We can see she obviously takes after her mom for looks……but from the inside out she sure is a beauty!!!Treasure every moment, they grow up so fast. Mine are 44 and 43 this year. I am already enjoying my grandchildren. Love to you all. May God bless and keep you.

  4. Miss Dixie
    Miss Dixie January 15, 2014 at 7:07 am | | Reply

    That is just plain beautiful, Claire. So is your darling girl.
    I hope she puts that in her “keepsake box” to read from time
    to time. You and hubby give yourselves pats on the back for
    a job well done. Continued happiness for you all.

  5. Lee from JAX
    Lee from JAX January 15, 2014 at 7:10 am | | Reply

    Claire, this was just wonderful! You know I’ve just loved Caroline from the first time I met her several years ago. Being on Facebook with her after moving from Wilmington is just the best because I get a glimpse of what is happening in her life. You are so right! She is a beauty inside and out. The first time I met her she told me she wanted to be a doctor. It was great sharing my old lab coats with her and to view how excited and grateful she was to receive them. Her American Girl season was really fun for me to be a part of too. You and Paul sure are on the right track with your children! Hope to see you all again!

  6. Betty
    Betty January 15, 2014 at 7:30 am | | Reply

    A superb piece of writing from a reflective Mom about her wonderful daughter. Happy Birthday Caroline, you are moving nicely along on life’s path, following the direction of your Mom’s footsteps while creating your own unique image – you couldn’t have a better example to guide you !

  7. jlo
    jlo January 15, 2014 at 7:43 am | | Reply

    Caroline…very hard for me to believe you are a teenager…still remember you and Andy coming into the shop, Andy in diapers…you the pensive inquistive one. You were and still are a sweetie pie, just like your mom.
    Happy Birthday, love jlo

  8. Cheryl
    Cheryl January 15, 2014 at 9:05 am | | Reply

    Today is my birthday too,though I am well past thirteen. Hope you have a great day

  9. Amy
    Amy January 15, 2014 at 9:13 am | | Reply

    Happy Birthday, Caroline!! Have a wonderful day!

  10. Peggy
    Peggy January 16, 2014 at 6:19 pm | | Reply

    Claire what a beautiful tribute to your daughter… the love that you and Paul have so selflessly given her shines from her beautiful heart.

  11. Bonnie Rosenmeier
    Bonnie Rosenmeier January 16, 2014 at 10:57 pm | | Reply

    Happy birthday Caroline! What a beautiful description and what a beautiful teenager…you and Mr. Fixit did good…the world is lucky!

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