I’ve been sitting here staring at this screen for quite some time trying to imagine how I can distill all that I want to say to you into something resembling a letter and not a book. You were my first pride and joy; the one that turned the tide and made my life no longer just about me. Every decision I made from the moment the stick turned blue involved you and what was best for you.
Today you turn 18. Eighteen! I can hardly believe that. I flip through photo albums and relive all the memories that are forever held on those pages. I wish I had a time machine – that I could go back to those precious moments and hold you tight, kiss your precious soft cheeks and feel your tiny arms around my neck. Parents sometimes take those moments for granted. We enjoy them yes, but we don’t realize how fleeting they are. That in the blink of an eye our precious children will be adults who have big plans that no longer involve us.
It’s very bittersweet to watch you plan the next season of your life. And though I know I will miss you more than you can ever imagine, I am bursting with pride at the woman you have become and I can’t wait to see how you change this world. You have never been afraid to walk your own path, to stand by what and who you believe in. You make the lives of those who know you better with your tender heart, fierce loyalty and compassion and your fabulous sense of humor. For some your presence may be fleeting but for a lucky few you will be a steady light in their life for years to come.
You have certainly been a light in my life. I have learned patience and compassion and the art of not taking myself, or life, too seriously (although I bet you would argue I could still lighten up a bit.) You’ve taught me that mamma doesn’t always know best; that listening to what your children want and being brave enough to allow them the space to travel a path that may not be the same as yours, is what supporting your children looks like. You’ve taught me that what’s “normal” is weird and that the unconventional can be just as much fun (maybe even more fun!)
As we transition into a relationship that’s defined more by friendship and mentorship, I hope you know that I am, and always will be, your BIGGEST fan! I am cheering you on (perhaps quietly so as not to embarrass you) in everything you do. I am loving you and supporting you and I’m here for you as long as I live. Truthfully, I’ll probably be one of those good ghosts who lives in your attic and watches over you and your children forever. Lol. I love you that much kiddo!
Happy 18th birthday my darling!
“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”