Here it is. The day you have been anxiously awaiting for some time now. It is an exciting day. It is the day you officially become an adult though you will always be our little girl. It comes with joy and fun, but also brings with it more responsibility. I am not sure if you are feeling much different today than you did yesterday. It’s been a while since I was your age so I can’t remember, but I am sure I was excited.
This is a special day. You only turn 18 once. Okay, you only turn every age once until you get to 30 and then you turn 29 every year for a few years. 18 brings big things like being able to vote. You graduated high school. You have jobs and are going to college in a few months. You are going to be faced with so many decisions. Put God first, read your bible daily, pray lots, stay humble, be kind, and know that we are all here any time you need us, and even when you think you don’t.
We know things haven’t always been easy for you. There have been a lot of ups and downs and probably will be more, but it has all helped shape you into the wonderful young woman you are today. I wish I could tell you life is all grand from this point forward, but reality is that is isn’t. You’ve already experienced some of the cruelty of the world and you have, mostly, handled it with grace. What we all wouldn’t give to keep you from going through any more pain or heartache, but in order to do that, we would be causing you to miss out on all the good things in life too. The good times really do outweigh the bad. Keep trying to take the high road, know that you won’t always get things right or handle them perfectly, the Lord knows we haven’t, but tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it, yet, for you to begin again.
I know this is cliche and we probably say it quite often, but time has passed so very quickly. We blinked and you were grown. Just yesterday you were little, and though we all entered your life at different stages, we all love you with every fiber of our beings and want only the best for you. You may be legally an adult now, but you will always be all of our little girl.
We love how you that you are. Your personality, your laughter, your “blonde-ness”, your silliness, your seriousness, the love and light in your eyes. Your grown-up self that still depends on her parents. If we could tell you anything about life from here on, it would be to love yourself, follow your great big dreams, don’t let the negative experiences from your past keep you from living your best life, things are not going to make you happy even if they are sometimes nice, you will always be able to muster more strength than you think possible, hold on to your true friends for they are a gift, keep your sisters and brother close because you will one day find they were the best friends of all. If you fall, we are here to help catch you and pick you up. There is nobody out there like you so don’t even try to compare yourself to anyone. You a unique and beautiful treasure. When you are dating or find a boy, make sure he cherishes and adores you. Don’t change for him. Always be you. If he cannot accept who you are, he is not the one for you. That doesn’t mean there won’t be good compromises. Just don’t compromise the very essence of who you are to be accepted by someone (boys or friends).
This is a new chapter in your story. You get to determine what goes on the pages. Make it count. Be honest. Don’t be afraid of failing; be afraid of not trying. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Never question your family’s love for you. Surround yourself with people that have only your best interests at heart. Don’t be afraid to swim upstream because following the crowd doesn’t always get you very far. You were born to stand out, baby girl, and to shine bright. All we really have is the right now so enjoy every single moment. You will always be more than enough.
We love you so very much to the moon and back forever and always and then some no matter what!
Your 4 parents, your two sisters, and your brother