To My Daughter on Her 18th Birthday

Today, my oldest daughter turns 18.

So many cliches and sappy things I could say but that is not her. She is a great kid with a funny combination of sass and fras. Her journey is uniquely her own. She is the child who doesn’t think like me. I believe she is more like her father in mannerisms and thought processes.

She has many talents that I do not own: drawing and speaking her mind courageously. We do share a love of writing but currently writing isn’t something that interests her.

Her big passion is animals. She has a connection with animals unlike anyone that I have seen. She is more patient with animals than with her parents or siblings, really most humans.

I have always admired her confidence. Middle school was hard, but she still maintained her sense of who she was. High school was hard, and I think she got lost a little bit. However, for three years, I watched as she gained her footing and now is talking about her future as a college freshman. There were days I wasn’t sure that would happen.

She can be respectful and irreverent. She shocks me with her intelligence and her wit. She kinda has an old soul but still has some childlike delight about her.

She was born on a Tuesday because that wouldn’t follow my birth plan for her to come five days earlier. We joke that she came late and has remained late. She fits that old poem “Tuesday’s child is full of grace.” Part of her name means grace. She was the answer to many prayers and pleas and bargaining on my part to become a mom.

She still tells me I love you when she is mad. I have earned my few gray hairs because of her antics over the years. She knows how to push my buttons but is learning boundaries as she gets older.

I enjoy her company. I don’t thank God enough for her and probably don’t tell her enough that I love her. I hope she can look back one day and appreciate her childhood and the love her dad and I, and God, gave her.

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