My daughter is about to turn thirteen. What could be more beautiful than that? Sometimes my friends who have kids approaching their teenage years express their sadness at the loss of their children’s babyhood. “It will never be the same,” they lament. I tell them not to worry. For a little while you are sad that they don’t place their small, warm hand in yours every time you cross the street together. Your eyes well up when they start shopping in the adult section of the clothing store. You desperately want to turn back the clock when their shoe size is suddenly bigger than yours. But then you are just so delighted to have this amazing, fascinating, ever-growing and changing person in your life that you forget to be sad anymore. I want so much for my daughter as she enters this time in her life when she is growing into the woman she will become. I want her to be confident. I want her to feel strong and powerful. I want her to be able to stand inside herself in any situation and know who she is and where her place is in the world. So I listen. I give example. I support. I encourage. I share. I don’t want her to have to wait until she is forty-three to feel that place in her belly where her roots are strong. I want her to feel it now and often. I want her own deeply-rooted belly to be her friend. I want her to know her truest beauty and live inside it always. Because the world needs more women like us who live from our roots. Women who stand in the world alive in the power of our bellies. And we all need to feel ourselves beautiful. Even when we are thirteen and at the beginning. Maybe, most especially, then. My daughter is about to turn thirteen. What could be more beautiful than that?