|Arwen, self portrait in charcoal pencil|
Auntie Leila has an amazing post on the "12 year old girl" and another on the "13 year old boy". The wisdom that comes back to me is--food. sleep. exercise. It's true--when hormones are raging and the body is growing at crazy rates, it is REALLY important to have decent food around. Plentiful and healthy. I made 14 fried eggs this morning and poor Arwen didn't get one. I only had yogurt (which she likes) left other than the buttered toast, which I didn't want her making a meal out of exclusively. But Arwen had been "making do" with yogurt all week. I don't think we had any fruit left in the house. No deli meat, no leftovers. (Arwen had been taking her German class on-line while the rest of us ate). My mistake. It was hard on her, and at 13, we want to try to help make things a little easier.
Sleep. Girls at 13 aren't really used to taking a daily nap like they did at 3, but lots of opportunities for quiet reading in a bedroom or an early night is a wonderful idea. I have simply noticed that compromised sleep, um, doesn't help.
Sleep, but then, get out! Fresh air and exercise just might save your 13 year old. My daughter does play her sports, but you know what is really great? Getting her out on a morning or afternoon walk or jog/walk, just me and her. And then...we can talk.
Being available to talk is the wisdom I credit to my own mother. That woman would lay awake until the wee hours of the morning listening to some poor daughter crying about some social disaster or other at the side of her bed as Dad snored in the corner. Of course, Dad was also available for long walks and talks. It's amazing what your little girl, now not so little, might have to confide: fears, hopes, questions.
Well, that's enough for tonight. 13 is not too late to tuck into bed and kiss goodnight.
I'm ok with 13. Watching a flower come into bloom is a time of joyful expectancy and hope. Just stock up the pantry and keep some tennies at the doorstep!