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Dear Josh,

You are turning 12 this year (only about 7 short months away), I have been thinking about this a lot lately.  12 was a turning point in my life, a reckoning as it were.  Twelve marked my transition to knowing-it-all.  Twelve marked the point where I felt like I had grown up..ish.  Twelve marked turning away from Barbie dolls (though secretly I only did it because I felt like it was supposed to happen).  Twelve marked wondering if my body would mature and if so-and-so noticed me.  Twelve marked my first serious body issues, as in not liking it.  I wonder, often, what twelve will mark for you.

We haven't had THE talk yet.  You know, the one no parent wants to give and no child wants to sit through?  It's still simmering on the back burner.  You have managed to retain this delightful innocence, naivety one might rightly say.  You are soft and sweet, buttery almost.  I am afraid of losing that.  Afraid of growing you up before you are ready.  I am probably foolish to wait so long, but you just don't seem ready yet.  That spark in your eyes is still brilliantly perfect and clean.  I worry that my own eyes are closed to your changes, that I'm missing something important because I see you in this rosy light.  I pray I am not.

You have started to pull away from my hugs before I am ready to let you go.  I complain about this and make you stay right there.  I am probably going to smother you - but I'm just not ready to move away from the center of your universe yet.  There are times when you snuggle right in only to turn around and roll your eyes.  You grit your teeth and stomp your feet.  You pout and mutter under your breath.  And yet you still bring me little treats or grab me for a squeeze as I walk by.  You are teetering on the edge of breaking my apron strings and I am working furiously to bind them up. 

You have changed so much, and yet so little.  Still my sweet-hearted, tender boy.  My worrier.  My comforter.  My ticklish giggler.  I see echoes of your father in your lovely chocolate eyes.  I see shadows of your beloved Grandma Annie in your open heart.  I see myself in your self-imposed shyness and your Aunt Cha Cha in your peaceful nature.  I see little bits of all your family, piecing you together.  I see all that is best in you, though at times I am sure this does not seem so.  I am proud of you.  I am blessed by you. 

I am grateful for these fleeting days. 



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