Sweet 16

16 years ago at 8:54 am you came into this world kicking and screaming and I wouldn't change a thing about you, and right now at this very time you are on a bus somewhere in the US going to St Louis with friends for a week and this momma is struggling how grown up you are...

Dear Brooke,

How can it be possible that sixteen years have passed since the first time I held you in my arms? I waited my whole life for you to be born. I remember every detail about your birth and often replay that day in my head – wishing I could go back and relive it one more time. You were the one who made my dream of becoming a mom a reality. You have created a love inside of me so fierce, so unbreakable, so unending, and so unconditional. I am incredibly lucky to have been chosen to be your mom. I really must have done something right in life to have been given a child like you
You have grown into an amazing young woman. You are that girl that I always wished I could be. You are beautiful, confident, smart, and well-liked by everyone. You shine in everything you do. Your friends all look up to you as well as the kids you babysit.
 age 1 

age 2 

Please know how incredibly proud I am of you. I know I have been hard on you at times. I set high expectations that you sometimes feel are impossible to reach. Let me reassure you that you have never ever disappointed me. I set those expectations because I want you to achieve everything you have ever wanted. I want all of your greatest dreams to come true. I never want you to feel undeserving of anything because you deserve the absolute best that life has to offer.

I want you to keep that confidence you have now, and continue to try new things; to meet new people. You never know what door will open if you just put yourself out there. You will make mistakes, but it’s okay because that’s how you learn lessons and become a better person. I’ve certainly made my share of them, and still, make them today. Those mistakes create the path to the amazing life I have today.

To be honest, you have probably taught me more than I think I’ve taught you. You’ve taught me patience. I’ve learned that screaming at each other often accomplishes nothing except pain. Listening and biting my tongue are much more effective. I’ll probably still get upset and frustrated with you. I’ll probably still lecture you simply because I am your mom and that’s what we do. I’ve learned from you to not sweat the small things. You rarely get involved in any gossip, and never really care what people think of you. You choose to see the good in people and stand up for others even when you are standing alone. Following your examples, my life has become much more fulfilling.

It amazes me how people are drawn to you. I can send you halfway across the country, knowing nobody, and you come home with a dozen new best friends. I admire your quiet strength in the way you accept the unfair things that happen to you. You keep moving forward, never letting them drag you down.

I hope your birthday is everything you dreamed it could be. Remember how loved you are. You are my sweet baby, your daddy’s little girl,  WE will always be here for you, your biggest fans
Your story is just beginning and I cannot wait to watch you write it 

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