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Happy birthday, Natalie

natxmas.jpg Happy Birthday, Natalie.

Natalie is 12 today.

Natalie, who I was told would never read as well as her peers, but who got a 96 in reading this quarter.
Natalie, who I was told would probably be dyslexic and wouldn't be able to form coherent written sentences, but whose teachers send home letters telling me that I should help her pursue a career in writing, because it's what she was meant to do.
Natalie, who I was told would never be able to do math, but gets consistent B's in that subject.
Natalie, who I was told was "socially retarded" but who has so many friends I can't remember all their names.
Natalie, who I was told had "autistic tendencies" and the most I could hope for was a low-functioning student who would always be in special ed, but who continues to surprise and impress me with her report cards and project grades.

Natalie, who wants to devote her life to cleaning up our environment, but can't keep her room clean, who wants her independence and freedom one minute and wants to be cuddled like a baby the next.

Natalie, who wants to be either a teacher, a basketball player, the manager of the Yankees, a drummer in an all girl punk band, a computer engineer, an artist or a writer and could really be any of those if she wants.

Natalie, who is unorganized and forgetful and a world class procrastinator with a wickedly sarcastic tongue, and who I yell at for being just like me.

Natalie who is at once charming and funny and sweet and a source of pride but who within the bat of an eyelash will turn surly and moody and make me want to pretend that I don't know her.

Natalie, who wants to single handedly save the world but forgets that she has to get out of bed in order to do that.

Happy birthday, Natalie. I'll stop holding your hand in public as long as you still want those kisses and hugs before bedtime, ok?

My daughter has moved from that little girl stage to the pre-teen angst-ridden life of an almost teenager stage. Some time in the past year, she lost any resemblance she had to that little girl who cried for me every day of pre-school. I miss that little girl, but I also like the young woman who has taken her place. Most of the time, at least.

Sometimes, when she rolls her eyes at me for the hundredth time in a day, I want to strangle her. But mostly I am proud of her and the way she has come to view the world. I am proud that she is a free thinker, independent and neither a follower nor a leader, but someone who just walks her own path.

I am, in many ways, dreading this year of her being 12. I have heard the horror stories, I have seen them in action. The social and emotional changes between 6th and 7th grade are frightening. I wish I could hang onto that baby inside of her for just a bit more, but I know I have to let that go. I have to let her make her own mistakes and I have to be there when her heart breaks or when her friends let her down or when she has a zit right before the big dance.

She doesn't live in the world I lived in at 12. It's bigger and wider and not as safe and comforting. But I can't hold her hand forever, can I? The best you can do as a parent is throw your kids out there and hope for the best, and when they come home crying just hold them and listen and hope for better days.

Natalie stories and pictures.
My favorite Natalie story.

QOD still running

Comments

Happy birthday Natalie!

As they say in Sweden, grattis, Natalie.

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Natalie.

Bon anniversaire...

what do you mean you can't save the world from the comfort of your own bed... so thats what I've been doing wrong all this time?

Here's to many many more.
Best Wishes

Happy Birthday, Natalie! :)

happy birthday! I hope you keep this entry for her, years from now. It's the kind of thing I know I'd read over and over.

A description only a loving mother can use and get away with.

Happy Birthday Natalie!!!!!!!

happy birthday, Natalie!

happy birthday natalie!

yaye for you natalie. i hope you have a most happy day. :)

happy birthday, natalie. and happy natalie's birthday to mom. you are a rockstar.

She's beautiful! Happy Birthday, Natalie! You have the same birthday as my little sister, so I know how cool you are, even though I've never met you.

Happy birthday Natalie!

Some day the world will realize you were right all along and come groveling back asking for your advice. But your mom will always be just like she is now. When you're 35 and you've built your philanthropic empire which has saved millions of lives, and won your Nobel prize in literature, and single-handedly changed the game of women's basketball, she'll still ask you to tidy your room and you'll still roll your eyes at her.

It's not fair, but it seems to work that way.

Happy birhtday, Natalie. She sounds like such a great kid. I think of how she dealt with the racist kid at her school and it makes me think that maybe the world does have a shot of changing its thinking and being a better place.

happy, happy, joy, joy, Natalie!

Quite a formidable young lady. Happy Birthday, Natalie.

Nothin' but happiness to you, Natalie. You're far cooler than me and you're eight years younger. That's not fair.

Natalie, felices a ti, por una extranjera en Miami. :) [Best wishes to you from a stranger in Miami.]

Mom: Good luck. ;) It doesn't last forever. They're people again at 15 or so, and your kid probably will remain pretty human throughout from the sound of it.

wait till she reaches fifteen...but then again, that's a different story.

hope it was a great birthday though.

p/s you're an absolutely amazing mom.

A VERY happy Birthday, Natalie.

Our younger daughter was dyslexic, diagnosed at 9 when her reading age was that of a five & half year old. She is now 34 and has worked as a senior Litigation Secretary for a prestigious firm here. She always had to work so much harder than her older sister, and teachers at junior school often compared them (4 years age difference) which was so unfair. But she worked hard and has achieved! So, keep up all your good work and enthusiasm.

Happy Birthday once again (sorry it's probably late).

To Mum: Congratulations on all the work and effort you put in to help both your children.

Ann.

Feliz Cumpleaņos Natalie!
Mi abuela dijo siempre que los doce es cuando una muchacha comienza a hacer una mujer!

she sounds a lot like you! :) happy birthday natalie.

Dear Natalie
Happy birthday. If your mum ever says something like I'm gonna go sarcastic over you ass, glare at her, and then threaten to start your own blog. It should create just enough panic for you to make your escape.

For reasons that you know, this meant a lot to me.

Thank you all for your birthday wishes for Natalie. I've printed this page out to give to her someday.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, a million more times. You all rock my world. Thank you.

BTW, I officially bequeath Natalie with a slightly burnt cupcake (I can't cook) and a house hippo.

http://www.commotionpro.com/products/user_stories/hippo.shtml

A happy belated Birthday Natalie! With wishes of many more happy ones to come.

Thanks for the hippo, Pf. She likes hippos.

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