11 years in - part B

Dear Louisa,
My funny, funny girl. You were the one who played pranks on us as an infant and at 11 years old you are still finding ways to make us laugh. You definitely have your father’s sense of humor and love to bring the funny. We love that. We need that.
Neither you nor your sister wanted to receive any gifts for your birthday this year. The only thing either of you really wanted was to have a friend spend the night without the boys around to bug you. Can’t blame you.
So, 11 is rough. I’m definitely getting the “tween” vibe from you and your sister. Caught in a place between wanting cute little stuffed animals on your dresser, but not really wanting to sit at the kids table any more. I definitely see you and your sister heading into new territory, but it isn’t necessarily the same territory as other girls your age. Which is good. I like where you’re going. Let’s stay on the path we’re on. Please.
As you are struggling towards independence I am constantly reevaluating my approach to parenting you. You are pulling away just a bit. Wanting to be more independent. Which is super. I want that too. You make good choices and I want you to have experience figuring out what you want for yourself.  
I want you to take the lead these next few years. I want you to take my hand and show me the path that God has planned for you. Maintaining common ground with you is such a high priority to me, but I don’t want to be the one who decides what our common ground is. I want you to pick the restaurant. I want you to pick the show on Netflix. I want you to think about what I might like when you make these little decisions about what we do with our free time, but ultimately pick the thing you want. Don’t let me decide what you want.
 What I want most is to be able to support you in these tiny decisions now, so that when the decisions get a little bigger you’ll let me support you with those too.
You are smart, clever and funny. You are one of my closest friends.
Love you much,

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