You are 15 today.

15th.png

I have been thinking about this day for some time and was curious about how I would feel when it actually came. Lately, I have been allowing myself to FEEL all of the feelings for each moment in my life. Allowing myself to feel what I need to feel to process it fully. So I cried this morning after I got off the phone with you lol.

You were born in Joplin, MO, our first child and first grandchild on both sides of the family. We had waited five years to have children. I wanted everyone in the family to be there when you were born. And that they were! We had aunts, grandmas, grandpas, cousins all in the room when you were ready. You gave us a little scare during labor, but our doctor was fantastic, and everything turned out wonderfully. 

We teased about making sure I delivered you before lunch so I could eat. You were born right before noon! My little sumo baby with that chunky face and lots of dark hair. It was weird to hold you for the first time, to see you for the first time. While a baby is inside their mom’s stomach, all she thinks about is holding her baby for the first time, what they will look like, what features they will have. You were absolutely beautiful!

Your journey was just beginning. We loved having you home with us, and all the family loved coming to visit. It was like something sparkled now in our lives. Something dull was now shining.

We made the decision that my full-time job would be to stay home and take care of you. I sure didn’t think I was equipped to be a mother, at some points in my life not even knowing if I would be one. But I took this job very seriously, and we made the best of our days together. You have always been loved more than you will fully be able to comprehend; until you have children of your own. 

We always thought you were so smart! Your dad taught you to memorize the states in a song. I remember people thinking that was so cool to hear a toddler sing all the states. Heck, I can’t even do that lol. 

You loved school and made friends quite easily. I got the chance to come and volunteer with your teacher. I will treasure those memories. This next year would prove to be the most challenging for us both. When things changed at home, you noticed. You have always been very intuitive. I wish now I would have protected you from it more than I did. I was broken and didn’t know what life was going to be like without him in it. Because of that, you grew up faster than you should have. You instantly became a second mama to your little sister who was three years old. Some days I honestly don’t know how we made it through, but you became a source of inspiration for me. You were so strong even though hurting deeply. 

Still to this day that is true. You and your sister are my inspiration; my inspiration to do hard things, to make a difference in someone else’s lives, to want to change the world. 

When I was 15 years old, I started dating your dad. We were young and naïve, each of us on our own journey to find ourselves, but that never really happened; for me anyways. We just knew what it was like to be with each other. Though, I don’t regret loving and marrying my high school sweetheart (your father) or what we went through together, the good or the bad; I am beyond thankful that journey was ours and not yours. 

You have learned to love yourself first. You have learned what priorities are. You are compassionate, kind, funny and intelligent beyond words. You are a team player and a passionate leader who sees the best in everyone. 

Dear 15 year old, you are going to go so far in life. Don’t apologize for being you. Live your best life and LOVE it. Live each day as a testament to others that things don’t have to be perfect for you to be your best self. Always be kind and never give up. Pray every day and thank God for your blessings. 

I will always be right beside you for the next step in your journey. 

Sincerely,

You’re number one fan and biggest cheerleader, MOM