Today you would be thirteen. That means that some day around now, I haven’t calculated which exactly, you will have been gone from us for longer than you were alive.
It’s a thought almost too hard to bear. We have moved further and further from the reality of you and our lives together, left with only memories and photographs. So oftentimes I don’t bear it, I distract myself so as not to think of it, I skirt around the edges, so I can still keep going, still keep living, as I’m sure you would have wanted.
On your last birthday in this world, your sixth, I wrote “My baby girl turned 6 today. What a delight she is to have around.”
What would thirteen year old you have been like? At thirteen I was a mess of hormones and anxiety, on the verge of coming to form my own world view.
I will never know what thirteen year old you would have been like, but I can imagine.
I imagine you would be more fiercely yourself. More fiercely thoughtful, more fiercely loving, more fiercely optimistic, more fiercely wanting the world to be right and fair. You were all these things at six and a half, I image you would have been only more so at thirteen.
I imagine you would have been at the climate change change protest some of your peers were at because you always wanted to put things right.
But I fear that you would have been disheartened by and cynical about the state of the world you were inheriting. That’s what I also fear for your peers.
I’m glad you don’t have to come to terms with mosque shootings and genocide and increasing inequality and the instagram bullying that kids your age seem to accept as normal.
Listening to my friends I’m pretty sure you would be in the grip of your own pubescent hormones, with all the accompanying tumult and sass, but frustrating as I’m sure that is, I’m jealous they have it.
Heartbroken is not a big enough word to describe how we are missing you discover yourself as a young woman, as someone with her own sense of identity and purpose. That you will never experience all of the firsts of young adulthood that are so frightening and wonderful and exhilarating.
Heartbroken is not a big enough word to encompass all the love we still hold for you in our broken broken hearts. Miss you my baby girl, six and half forever.
Click here to see what we did for Zoe’s thirteenth birthday.