16 years I have watched you grow. I remember the very first night the nurse wheeled you into my room. Dad was asleep in the chair but I stayed up all night long and watched you breathe. You were the most beautiful little baby I had ever seen. You were mine, all mine. The beat of my heart, that’s what you became. The smile on my face, the words to my song.
Before I knew it you were crawling, walking, running, flipping. Your feet were never planted firmly on the floor. You loved to push limits and take risks. You would crawl in the cubby of the entertainment system and hang out there, you would pile books as high as you could and stand on them. You always set your sights higher than most kids your age. Do you remember how you would climb the basketball post during cheerleading practice and sit at the top the entire time refusing to come down? You were only 5 and I was the coach and still you knew the cheers better than anyone else. You nearly scared the mothers at the pool to death when your tiny two year old self would jump in the pool without me there and you would actually swim all by yourself.
Dad and I were talking the other day. We were wondering how to properly answer the question WHO AM I? I dont exactly have the words but I cant even remember who I was before you. Even through the most difficult times, my best memories were watching you turn into this young woman who is becoming more independent every day. Those days are the best, every single one. They are just moving way too fast. To be honest, in a few days, you will be driving on your own and my heart will break as you pull down the drive. No matter how old you get, you will always be my little girl, my little buddy, the little girl I would pull in the wagon everyday on the way to the park. The girl I would push on the swing for hours and who would only let me hold her when she was finally exhausted at the end of the day. The little girl who slept in my bed until she was 8 with her little arm shoved firmly underneath my body to make sure I was never too far away.
You are beautiful and grown in so many ways. I am proud that you have the confidence to think for yourself. You are never afraid to speak your own words. You know who you are and you never waste a single minute trying to be anyone else.
For 16 years I have watched you grow and I had no idea the time would go by so fast. It seems like just yesterday you were holding my hand, pigtails in your hair, staring at me with your big brown eyes singing Barney over and over until I was sure that silly tape would break.
Happy sixteenth birthday. No matter how old you get or how far away you go, you will always be right here in my heart. I am slowly learning to give you wings and although its hard to let you fly, I know we will both be okay.Maybe okay will be our always, isnt that what you often playfully say? Maybe there is more truth in that than even we know. There is not one relationship any stronger than the one between a mother and daughter. That is the one relationship that will never let you down. Sure the teenage years will bring a special set of challenges but at the end of the day, we will always have each other and a safe place to land at the end of even the hardest day. Whether you believe it or not, someday you will think of me as your very best friend. I love you more than words, maybe I dont say it enough because love is something that is felt but is not always easily spoken. My love goes beyond the comprehension of words. I will always love you and I will forever be standing on the sidelines cheering you on with each and every step you take on this journey of life. My wish is that you will live a happy life and live in a way you will have few regrets. You only get one life sweet girl so make this one count. Be the best version of yourself and always do the best you can. That will always be enough. Success should be measured by the love you feel in your heart and the happiness that rocks you gently to sleep at night. May you always love and be loved and may you discover your own little island of happy where you will always be washed in the waves of peace and gratitude. Count your blessings each and every day and dont forget to play. Life is serious but you dont have to be. Live, laugh, smile and be silly. Dont grow old, just continue to grow. May this day, your sixteenth birthday always be a memory that brings a smile to your face. You are so very special, unique in your own beautiful way. I am so proud to be your mom.