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I feel like here, on the cusp of becoming a teenager, I can feel you slipping through my fingers as you pull away. You yearn for your independencea sense of freedom from the constraints you might feel we’ve built to hold you back.

I’ll do my best to not take the drastic mood swings personally. One minute you want to cling to me as the safety net of your childhood and the next you’re shoving me away to race toward adulthood. Then you’re yanking me back with your youthful sweetness and shoving me back away with your adolescent sass. 

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I know this battle of where we stand with each other will pass, and I often pray we come out the other side as friends because despite the tug of war of knowing how to show me you love me, you’ll look back and remember no matter all the times it seemed we were at odds, you’ll understand I always stood by you with love. 

But at 13, in this land between childhood and adulthood, I know there is no holding you back.

As scary as that world out there beyond our doors are, it waits for you.

You will stumble at times as you make your way out there, but you will also shine. I just pray you don’t let the dark shadows of doubt, and yes, even sometimes failure dim your light.

That world out there needs you. As scared as I am to send you out into itit needs your hope, the compassion you carry in your heart, and yes, even your feistiness. It needs all that you have to offer it, child.

I know you say you can’t wait to take it on because at 13, you start to think you’re more than ready to take on the world. Hold on to your childhood a little longer though, my child. 

I love your ambition and your drive to charge headfirst into adulthood and life. But beware of the thief ambition can be at times if you don’t keep it in check. Sometimes we can be so focused on chasing our ambition, we miss what’s right in front of us.

Don’t be so focused on chasing down the future that you miss embracing the now. 

Though time seems short now, you’ll only have your memories of it before you know it. Now is so important in paving the path to later. 

RELATED: Dear Daughter, Do Not Be Perfect

It’s easy to get lost out there in the world beyond childhood. It’s so easy to think you need to be somebody you’re not. I know as a child we’re supposed to teach you to follow the rules, to fall in line and do as you’re told. But hear me, child, now as I tell you differently. Instead live by your own rules to create the person you want to be, not the one someone else wants you to be. The world will want you to conform, but yes, sometimes rules are made to be broken. 

I know your heart, child, and it’s good, so follow it before you follow anything else. 

Letting a child go as they grow up to find their own way is one of the hardest and most bittersweet journeys of life. So as you pull away, remember, no matter where the roads outside our door take you,  we’re always here, waiting with open arms

Angela Williams Glenn

Angela Williams Glenn writes about the struggles and joys of motherhood on her website Stepping into Motherhood. Her book Moms, Monsters, Media, and Margaritas examines the expectations verse the realities of motherhood in our modern day digital era and her book Letters to a Daughter is an interactive journal for mothers to their daughters. She’s also been published with Chicken Soup for the Soul, TAAVI Village, Bored Teachers, and Filter Free Parents. You can find her on her Facebook page at Stepping into Motherhood.

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