London, today you are officially a teen – but it seems like you’ve been one for years.

As the youngest of the three oldest “stair-step” kids in the household, each milestone comes for you on the heels of your older brother and sister. Pre-K graduation. Kindergarten. Riding a bike. Sixth-grade graduation. The start of middle school.

There is little space between their milestones and yours — including the start of the teen years.

I’ve been lumping you into “the teens” when referring to the kids in our household for at least a year.

Yet – today is the actual day you switch from ‘tween to teen, and it’s worth celebrating: all by itself.

In the past year – you’ve outgrown your clothing, your shoes and even your bedroom furniture.

You are organized yet creative.

You are tough but reserve a soft side for animals and smaller kids.

You are incredibly shy, or incredibly outgoing — and you don’t explain your reason for why or when.

You are so good at so many things but don’t see that as a reason to do any of them. It doesn’t matter how much natural talent you show for something — if it doesn’t excite you, you don’t do it. I still haven’t mastered that life skill.

You love live musicals, soft sweatpants, Funyuns, popcorn and TikTok.

You and I are watching the entire Grey’s Anatomy series on Netflix together, starting with Season 1. Maybe by the time you reach age 18, we’ll finish it. I know I can cry, laugh, and get angry about the cheap affairs, without feeling self-conscious — because you are enjoying all of it just as much as I am.

Your birthday lands on the longest day of the year — the one with the most sunshine. I’m always struck by how apt that seems for you, because your personality outshines your size and age.

In a lot of ways, you are an old soul, acting more grown up than everyone around you — just with all of the latest TikTok moves/songs.

So happy birthday London – may your teen years be the best ones yet.

Category: Birthdays