It's so bizarre to think of you as an actual "person" and not just some little, but adorable, munchkin growing inside of me. However, I know one day you're going to be some angsty, fourteen year old who carries the world on her shoulders (because let's face it, we all go through that). I also know that when that time comes around I may not be the "open-minded", hip mom that I hope to be. Because I'll be older and sometimes when you grow up you forget what it's like to be young and have everything be so new.
I hope that never happens. I hope that I will always be able to relate to you and that I will remember to sometimes give you a break when you mess up because being a teenager (mostly) sucks and it's hard. But just in case I don't, or just in case you think your parents are "like, the lamest people to ever walk the planet", there's a few things I want you to know before I get too old and forget them:
1. David Bowie, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell, The Avett Brothers, Bob Dylan, The Smiths, The Cure, REM, Pixies, and Smashing Pumpkins. Play them. They'll help you get you through all the craptastic days.
2. Read. Read everything and anything you can get your hands on. Question the world around you by opening up your mind to different worlds and ways of living by reading. Before you can even really become a teenager you have to read "The Outsiders" (it's like a right of passage for every kid out there to know that "nothing gold can stay"). Also, read plenty of John Green. Because he's amazing too. And "Perks of Being a Wallflower". Because Charlie is such an awesome book friend to have.
3. Remember that sometimes people leave. Sometimes they get taken away from us, and sometimes they walk out on their own, but at some point, someone you love will be gone. When that happens, breathe through the pain. Feel every inch of it, but don't let it consume you, even though it may feel like you will never be able to breathe right again. Take loss for what it is: something you can't change, but that you can learn from. Learn from every bad experience. Take something bad always and find the silver lining it, because I promise, there will be one, even if it's hidden deep. And if someone is taken from you, remember the love they had for you. Hold on to it and realize that as long as you have that, they're never really gone.
4. Never be afraid to be yourself. Never let anyone make you feel ashamed of loving something/ someone. You are amazing. You are wonderfully made. You are the greatest joy in my life no matter what. Don't try to fit in to make life easier, because you can't. At fourteen, no one fits in. We're all weird and goofy, and it's amazing because that just means we're all different and can learn from each other. Embrace being different.
5. This Article on Stand By Me.
6. Remember your namesakes: River Song, Tam, and Phoenix. The first two were (although fictional) amazingly strong women who could hold their own in life. Phoenix was amazingly creative and beautiful (but totally made bad decisions on drugs- don't do drugs).
7. Never put your dreams and goals before anyone. Explore everything. Fall in love often. Dream big- bigger than big. You can do anything, as long as you put the effort into it. Life is too short not to get out of it everything you could possibly want.
8. Never forget that I love you. I loved you from the moment I first found out that I was carrying you. You became my whole world instantly. I know I'm going to eventually screw up in the parenting department at some point, because we all do (I sincerely pray it's a little screw-up and not a big one). I know that I'm not going to be perfect at this. There will be (heartbreaking) days when you will probably think you hate me. Try to remember that your poor mom is simply blinded by this insane amount of love she has for you if I get too controlling. And I promise, I'll try really hard when the time comes to learn when to let you have a breather and to let you grow.