Dear Tween, your 10th birthday is next week. You’re fierce and you’re worthy. You’re chosen. You’re loved. And, I am excited to see what you do next!

As you go down this rocky and awkward path called pre-teen and teenager-hood aka “tween“, please know, I’ve got your back.

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I know social media is ever evolving and I see you watching with awe as kids seemingly do things light years above their social emotional pay grade.

You’re growing up but take your time. You wake up and do things for the last time without knowing it and you age up and graduate to different things.

These things you see are not all that you think they are. There is a lot that goes on into producing content for consumption on YouTube. Enjoy where you are, breathe it in and soak it up.

Mom advice #1: Let’s tread lightly on what we idolize because they become an influence for our tween.

I know you’re upset that we supervise and limit your computer and phone time. This is for the best. It’s not that we are policing and controlling you. We are controlling how fast the world comes at you. Because it’s coming. We can’t stop the good, the bad and the ugly from eventually making it’s way to you. But, we can form dams to surround you and we do because we want to give you the opportunity to understand and work through things without input overload.

Mom advice #2: Guard your heart and build your own beliefs.

With beauty standards reaching higher and higher and technology getting better and better. You may think that filters are how you should look. Filters are fun. But, it’s not how you should look. Whoever will look like you if we all shroud ourselves to look the same? So, please know that I stand with you in confusion as I walk down the rocky and awkward path of aging. I’ve never been here before either. We are both exchanging youth for experience.

Mom advice #3: Let your decisions come from you.

And, hear me when I say, to me you are lovely and beautiful. You shine bright in my heart and it doesn’t depend on perfect skin or perfection in any form. Mistakes or Imperfections. It’s just you.

I know friendships get awkward around this age. I remember it too well. Friends that were friends last year have closed their circle just a bit more as you grow up and interests change. It’s not a bad thing necessarily. I want you to know that life, friendships and love are all important but more importantly, they change. Not everyone continues on in life’s journey with you. You are not meant for everyone. And, gosh, that is a hard lesson. And, it’s heartbreaking when a friendship doesn’t continue. But, there is beauty in a social circle that is defined by you. And know, the people who are supposed to find you, will. And, you’ll make memories with people who see your sparkle that they’ll remember and you’ll forget. And, the cycle repeats.

Mom advice #4 for a Tween: Friendships should never rest or engage based on you misrepresenting yourself because of the pressure to do so.

Lastly, if you see me looking upon your face with wishing eyes or a breath catches every now and again. Know that I am taking pictures with my heart of the journey from baby to toddler to school age to tween. The journey, well, it seems so short and fleeting. They were really right. Babies don’t keep. During these bittersweet moments, just know that your life flashing before my eyes is the greatest joy I’ve ever known. I look forward to seeing you evolve into the teenager you will become and I’m here for you. Anytime. Any place. You can always find me. I experienced all this too, I’m just a bit down the road.

Love you big,

Mom

Featured Image Photo Credit :: Allison Turpen Photography

Jenny Dombroski lives and loves in Georgetown with her husband, Justin, and two crazy kids, Amelia and Sam. Her days are spent running her kids in two different directions, working on incorporating a little more sarcasm in her days and trying new classes at the gym. She believes in learning and experiencing the good, the bad and the ugly that life has to offer with as much grace as Jesus can give her.

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