As I sit and write this post, you have just landed at JFK after celebrating a friend’s own sweet 16. You were gone for 5 days in a foreign country and as you know, I missed you an awful lot. You had traveled without me before. To overnight camps and on school trips. You’ve flown without us and been gone for much longer periods of time. For some reason though, this one got me. I spent a lot of time thinking about why and I think one reason might be because it was a glimpse in to our very near future. The one in which you are more on your own then dependent on us.
Of course, raising independent humans is what we are striving for as parents but looking up one day to realize just how independent your once baby has become, can be hard. Sometimes you think I am too strict with you. Well, all the time you think that I am too strict with you. You wonder why I don’t trust you when over and over again, you prove that you make smart decisions. And I know you are right. I shouldn’t worry. You have grown into an amazing sixteen year old girl who is deserving of all our trust. (Note: I still will worry so don’t use this post against me in the future.)
This past year, you set many lofty goals for yourself and you met each and every one. From making the varsity soccer team to qualifying for Deca nationals. To excelling in a course load that I feared was way too intense. To writing for the high school paper. I worried (Hmmm- I’m sensing a theme) that you were doing too much but again and again, you proved that you could accomplish everything you set out to do.
All these accomplishments are amazing of course but it’s the other stuff that makes me the happiest. In all of your activities and all of your classes, you make the most amazing friends. People that you may share a common interest with or maybe just someone who makes you laugh. When you were little, I remember a friend of mine saying that come high school, you were the kind fo person that people would gravitate toward. She said that people would just want to be with you. And you know what? She was right. All people, kids and grown ups, like having you around. I don’t think there is anything more I would ever hope for a person.
And I am proud to say that this extends to your family. So often, you hear tales of teenagers who are either fighting with everyone in the house or locked up in their room. Sure, we’ve had a few slammed doors around here this year (see paragraph two re: strictness) but for the most part, we really don’t fight. And when you are home, you like to be with us and we all like to be with you. The relationship that you have with Katherine makes me happier than you will ever know. You are really each other’s closest friend and it watching you choose to be with each other is just the best.
So here’s to another amazing year, sweet girl. I truly can not wait to see what this year will bring.
Happy Sweet 16 baby girl. I love you.