Happy Birthday Sweetie! I have so many thoughts and emotions running through my mind right now that I’m not even sure where to begin writing. I could share a bunch of clichés with you; tell you how fast time flies, how much happens in the blink of an eye, how “just yesterday…”, but I’m not going to tell you that. I knew this day would come because I watched you get here. I watched you learn to crawl and walk and run and jump. I listened to you cry, scream, giggle, talk and sing. I watched you with your friends; the ones you liked and the ones you didn’t. I saw when you were hurt and happy and confused and mad and scared and frustrated and tired. I watched you grow and learn and believe. I stood by you when you made good decisions, and when you made bad ones too. I knew when you were lying. I helped you learn about consequences. I was there when you understood your homework, and when you didn’t. I sat on the bleachers for t-ball, softball, basketball, volleyball, cheer, dance, plays, banquets and parent meetings. I supported you always. I still do. I watched you fall and I watched you get back up; when you didn’t get back up, I pulled you. I talked with you about choices and feelings and decisions and life. I told you what you wanted to hear and what you didn’t. I told you what you needed to know and checked up to make sure you were listening. I taught you life’s lessons. I told you “yes” and “no” and “absolutely not!” I hugged you, trusted you, believed in you, and loved you unconditionally – and I always will. You are my child and I am your parent. I love who you were and who you are and I’m sure I’ll love who you will become.
I know that you’ll be fine, even wonderful, on your own. Remember to always trust your intuition. If something feels right, it’s probably right; if not, it’s probably not. Remember to believe in yourself; it’s better to try something crazy than to wish you had tried it once the chance has passed. Remember to be honest and genuine and tactful; learned skills that take practice. Remember that love is never enough; a good relationship of any kind involves trust, respect, and laughter too. Remember to exercise every day - yes, every day. Remember to choose happiness and smile, even when you don’t feel like it. And please remember to call your mother often; she’ll be thinking of you.
I didn’t tell you, but this afternoon I snuck down to your bedroom and sat for a while. I became a bit tearful thinking about today being the last birthday you’ll be home. Today was the last birthday morning I’d be able to sing to you in bed, or set out birthday surprises for you to wake up to. But, isn’t that the way it should be? We should become sad when something wonderful ends – but this end will bring new beginnings, at college, in your new apartment, starting your new job, meeting a new guy…etc. I can’t wait to share the rest of your life with you, as your friend. Happy birthday baby! I love you!