A Birthday Message to My 14 Year Old Daughter

Dear Mackenzie,

Today is your 14th birthday and the only reason that I can write this post is because I know that you never come over to this part of the woods. I can’t believe that 14 years ago you came a girl turns 14 into this world and immediately changed everything that I knew to be good and replaced it with something amazing.

I know that we are getting to the point of our relationship where things aren’t always great.. You’re trying to figure out your place in the world and I know that pretty soon – that place will be without me. That makes me sad but I know that it’s the way life is. I did it with my parents and they did it with theirs. Every teenager thinks that they are the first person to go thru the crazy turmoil of the teen years but trust me – it’s nothing to new to parents. There may be new gadgets but the struggles are the same.

I want to always keep our communication open but never want to step on your toes. I watch what you do and say and try to only interject opinion if I see you are really struggling with what to do. But that’s not very often. It seems that somehow, the lessons and “speeches” that I’ve repeated over the past few years actually snuck in! I’m proud how you stand up for what you believe in even if it’s not the “popular” thing to do.

Middle school is not an easy time and we’ve been thru some tough situations dealing with some of the mind games that happen between girls. You know firsthand that girls are mean. They don’t fight fair and they say nasty things when they feel threatened or intimidated. I’ve watched your heart get broken time and again when the people you thought were you friends turned their backs on you, spreading rumors and trying to get your other friends to do the same. And each time you held your head high and grew stronger. You learned to fight back and not take it personally – realizing that stooping to their level would only make you as bad as them.

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You are such an amazing young lady – almost as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside. I have watched your self-confidence explode this year and it makes me chuckle to watch you with your “swagger”. I wish I could give you (and your sisters!) all the treasures in the world and I appreciate your understanding when I can’t. I hope that the memories and traditions that we’re building as a family will be what you remember many years from now because those are what’s most important in life.

No matter how much you fight with your sisters, I know that when we’re not around you protect them like they’re you’re own and your dad and I appreciate that. I have always said that I can take a lot at home but the true test is how our kids act when we’re not around and you and your sisters always rise to the occasion and make us proud. Maybe that’s why I get so frustrated when the three of you fight like cats and dogs – I just want to catch a little bit of what I know to be true when we’re not around!

I love the fact that I still get to catch glimpses of you as a little girl when you get excited over things. Sometimes I’m jealous of the secret giggles that you share with your friends – especially when I ask what’s so funny and get that look that teenagers are so good at giving. But I try not to take it personally and remember that I gave my own mother the very same look when she asked the same question. Nothing makes me happier than when we get to share some one on one time and can just wander thru our day. If I haven’t mentioned how excited I am for Woods of Terror this weekend, I really am. How many mother/daughter teams get to do hair and makeup like that?!

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I hope your day at school tomorrow is awesome, your friends lavish tons of attention on you and that this year brings you more than you could ever wish for – you of all people deserve it.

I love you sweet Little Red – you will never know just how much I do. I am clinging on to these next few years like you won’t believe. Please have patience with me and try not to think I’m smothering you… I just know that the next 4 years are going to fly by and soon I’ll watch you walk out that door to start your own life with me still cheering in the background.

Happy Birthday, baby – I love you to the moon and back!



Are you raising a teen or a tween? Join the conversation over at Ten to Twenty Parenting!


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February 3, 2016 at 9:55 am

Mackenzie, your now older but I still like the dress

Alex Kitchens-Law
February 3, 2016 at 9:54 am

MacKenzie, I love the dress!!!!

November 13, 2014 at 7:56 am

Hi there nice birthday wish, and one more thing also i have a site where i post about HAPPY BIRTHDAY WISHES
Akash Navi recently posted..Top 20 Happy Birthday wishes – HAPPY BIRTHDAY WISHES FOR YOUMy Profile

Lizle Joubert
June 17, 2014 at 6:20 am

Thank you for sharing this message to your teen daughter. It made me think of my relationship with my mother (she’s late now)she was my everything and I remember the good and not so good times. Specially lifes lessons….. My daughter will be 14 tomorrow. Much excitement, Thanks again

July 22, 2013 at 2:23 pm

and the flood gates have been released! What a sweet message to a special little girl. Although I have years before my own little man grows to think I know nothing and I am just mom who couldn’t possibly understand his struggle… for right now I am his whole world and can fix anything! I often think that yes this phase will pass and soon I will not be the shining light in his sky but like you said we have all been there even with our own parents and after that passing phase we all return to “our parents neck of the woods” 🙂 Thanks for sharing Kristen~
Leah Elizabeth Locklear recently posted..Televison in your child’s room- Yes or No?My Profile

July 21, 2013 at 8:10 am

My girls are a bit younger at 4 and 2 1/2, but being the mom to a girl, I read this and was in tears. It is beautiful and so very true. Having been a teen girl myself and been a middle school teacher in recent years, I can attest to how girls are during this time of their lives. I know it will most likely be bittersweet and quite frustrating when my girls do get to this stage and must admit that I am a bit anxious when I think of this and hoping that it doesn’t get to this point in just a blink of my eyes. Thank you for sharing this here and just so happy to have found your blog through the Sunday Sip this morning.
Janine Huldie recently posted..My Baby Turned Four Weekend Wrap-Up & So Much More!!My Profile

    July 21, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Janine!! It IS a struggle but we’re working our way thru it. We have our rough days and we have our days where we’re very much in synch. Just like all the other phases of parenting, I know it’s just that.. a phase and sometimes that’s all I need to get me thru the day.

Brigett C.
September 26, 2012 at 11:47 am

My God, she is absolutely stunning!! And only fourteen! I have a beautiful red head of my own and they are very independent and strong willed. I pray daily over her. Happy Birthday to Mackenzie!!! May all your birthday wishes be fulfilled!!

    September 29, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you! Our “gingers” are special, aren’t they? I’m happy that she’s finally starting to embrace her uniqueness instead of fighting it. Her life will be much better that way, for sure!

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