Instead of purchasing a card off the shelf, I felt like I could best honor her by writing a love note. A list of memories or things that came to my mind when I sat to reflect on the fact that my first born had arrived at this momentous age. No longer a child and not yet an adult, but a catalyst age indeed. Here is the letter that I wrote for my daughter on her 18th birthday.
18 years of life. You’ve lived so much life in your 18 years. I’ve learned so much from being your mom for 18 years. Here are 18 memories/things that come to me as I reflect on your life thus far.
- I felt like I knew you before you were born. When you finally arrived, you made the most intense eye contact with me and everyone else you met. I had the distinct feeling that you knew more about life than anyone else in the room. Remember that when you feel uncertain or overwhelmed.
- You got RSV when you were 5 days old. Many scary and sleepless nights. You proved what a little fighter you were. Remember that when you feel like quitting.
- You were always the first person out on the dancefloor and would get the crowd to join in on your fun and crazy dance moves. Remember that when you have the opportunity to encourage people to let loose and have fun!
- Art has always been a place for you to quietly express yourself. Remember that when you start to feel lost or out of balance.
- You would make friends with every kid at the playground by telling them to gather around you. Then you would tell them what you were going to play and get them to join in. Remember that when you have the opportunity to lead people.
- You have always worn whatever clothes/accessories made you feel happy, regardless of trends. Remember that when everyone else is caving to short lived trends.
- You have always had a way with animals, babies and people with special needs. You are compassionate and value all life. Remember that if you ever feel distracted from the things that matter.
- You have always been the one to say, “don’t worry mom, I’ll be fine”. (whether it was your first day at Kindergarten or traveling to Europe). Remember that every time you feel fear.
- You have always been scared of getting shots. And yet you have piercings. Remember that. HEHE
- You have always sleep walked and talked in your sleep. Remember that. The truth comes out when you sleep. 😉
- You have always been quick to make friends but the last to forgive. Remember that forgiveness sets you free and life is all about relationships.
- You have always been adventurous with trying new foods. Remember that as you travel the world. Just don’t eat dog, ok?
- You have always insisted on learning your own lessons the hard way. Remember that you are surrounded by many wise people that it’s ok to ask for advice or help.
- You have always loved the water. When you were a baby that was the only thing that calmed you down. Remember that when ever your soul needs to be cleansed.
- You have experienced incredible loss in your 18 years. Remember that you can do hard things, no feeling is final, and you have a courageous heart.
- When you were a baby it was so hard to make you laugh. Now you laugh so freely and often. Remember that laughter is the best medicine.
- You have always been independent and resilient. Remember those are great qualities and will get you far in life, but you don’t have to do everything on your own. Life is all about relationships, and it’s ok to open your heart to others.
- You have been one of the greatest blessings of my life and I am so proud of you. I love learning and growing with you. I have a feeling that you are going to live the fullness of all that life has to offer you. You are unique and amazing. I hope you open every door that is meant for you and greet every opportunity with open arms and open heart and share your gifts with the world. Mostly, I hope that when you make mistakes, you don’t get stuck, but pick yourself up with grace and say, well I’m glad I learned that lesson……NEXT
I love you Kaylee Brianne.
xoxo ~ Mom
More than a year has passed since then, and I am in awe of how much more life she has lived since she turned 18. I am reminded every day just how fast life happens and how blessed I am to be her mom.