We’ve started a tradition with my friends where when one of our girls turns 13, we have a little weekend away to honor this transition from girl to young woman.  My friend Michelle came up with the idea feeling that we don’t do enough in our culture to recognize this stage in kids’ lives.  I think she’s right.  In a culture that tries to ignore teenagers (i’m not saying I don’t get why!), I think it is important to say “Hey! We’re behind you and we love you.”

So Jade recently turned 13.  Jade is my good friend Kari’s neice who now is Jade’s guardian.  She is a sweet and massively cute girl who is a regular (and very popular) babysitter for my girls.  We all went away for an overnighter at a cabin and had enough food to last for weeks, chatted, laughed, painted and just enjoyed each other.  It is good for the soul to just be with other women!

One of the things we did and have done in the past to commemerate the event is to do a group art project.  This always falls to me to organize.  Usually we take a photograph and chop it up into smaller squares and have each person paint a square and then put it all back together.  It always makes me laugh when I hear from almost everyone, “Oh, I can’t paint/draw”, or “I’m not creative” or simply “Do I have to?!” and I say “yes, you have to and it’ll be great.  Trust me.”  I’m happy to report that it always is great and it seems to suprise people that they can actually do this!  For Jade’s art we didn’t have a picture but did individual tiles and put them all together.

Look how good it turned out!