Shit, shit, shit, shit... As of today, 66% of our kids are teenagers. WE ARE DOOMED!!!
Well, well, well Mimi. Well done. Welcome to the teens. Don't get too worried, there is nothing to it. It's business as usual. Look at your big brother, see how cool he is. But that's when being on the spectrum, with very clearly defined and rather exclusive interests, is actually an advantage.
You are more complex. A lot more complex. And you've read a lot of books. And you'll read many more. About strong and complex feelings. Ideals and passion, conflicting emotions.
There will be a lot of conflicting emotions. That's normal. Well it is, for people who are not on the spectrum.
Stay in touch with us. We are old farts, granted, but we are not quite totally out of touch yet. We are pretty uncool, I know. I have actually spent decades fine-tuning my extreme uncoolness. Getting old grants the super-power of actually not giving a shit about what the others think.
But I am not too worried for you. You are not easily led. Not overly influenced by the herd mentality. Stay that way. Let the mackerel swim in their uniform schools devoid of free-thinking. Always be a graceful beluga.
We will keep asking you to come for a walk in the forest with us. I know, it is the pinnacle of boring. It actually isn't totally boring, once you get there. Keep coming with us and the bros, from time to time, for old times' sake.
Your phone and its 12 million WhatsApp messages will still be there when you get back to the car.
In hindsight, you'll see how important these forest walks were. Or, god forbid, the pier walks. Even the west pier.
Mum and Dad love you very much. I am prepared to being more on the periphery of your interests in the coming years. I'll be there. Not quite out of reach. You'll know where to find me if you need me.
I took the official birthday portrait this evening. Thanks for indulging me. It's a tradition.
I will add it as an extra when I manage to get back to my computer (for now it has been requisitioned for Netflix duties by you and Mum to watch the Witcher). But this candid shot of you with headphones on and glued to your phone is for me the one that best marks your thirteenth birthday.
I won't try to speak young. Each generation to its own lingo. Stay cool, kid.