Happy 16th Birthday, Grace!
Wow, I can’t believe you are finally 16! You are such an amazing kid and I am so grateful to have you for my daughter. You are funny, kind, plucky, hard working, intelligent, edgy, hilarious and one of the coolest people I know. I admire your grace, your ambition, your horse knowledge and acumen, your beauty and your confidence. You know who you are in a world where that is hard to do at 53, let alone 16.
This past year has been a hard one for many reasons. I have seen you shrink back, retreat from life and I have seen you burst forward with pride and a new sense of purpose. You are amazing and I am so incredibly grateful to be your mom.
I didn’t know what kind of relationship we would have 16 years ago when you arrived the day after Easter. But you changed my life and made being your mom one of the greatest events of my life.
We are down in San Diego for a few days to celebrate you and all you have overcome, accomplished and the beautiful young woman you have grown into. You and your brother will always be the hardest, best efforts I have ever made. I am grateful to be your mom, your confidant, your friend and your sometimes backstop.
Mothering is not easy. You will find out one day, I hope. It is greatest gift and hardest task. It will lift you so high and bring you to your knees. I am incredibly thankful to get to walk this journey as your mom.
I pray that these next two years of childhood, you take advantage of and are able to spend some time really thinking about what you want from your life. It is easy to coast, harder to decide and easy to get lost. High school seems so all encompassing but it is merely a beginning. So much of life happens after high school, yet we are all profoundly and permanently affected by the experience.
I pray that you continue your passion with horses, you are truly a gifted horsewoman. You command 1200 pound beasts with aplomb and finesse. It is truly magical to watch you ride. I pray that you find something meaningful to do next that uses your intellect, your compassion and your love of dirt. You can do anything you set your mind to....anything.
My job the next couple of years is a hard one. As my tenure of daily scheduler and task master begins to draw to a close, I hope that I have prepared you for the awesome responsibility that is your life. I hope as I turn over the reigns to you, you are ready and I have done my job well. I know I have tried. I pray that you are ready to begin this most amazing life that awaits you. I have done my best. I pray that it is enough to launch you into young adulthood.
I will always be here for you. For pep talks, hard conversations, support, good old cash, and hopefully many more experiences where we take off into the world and discover new things. I love you with all that I am and am so incredibly proud to be your mom. Happy Sweet 16 my beautiful, amazing Grace. You and your brother are the best gifts I have ever had the privilege of receiving. Mothering isn’t easy, so please take your time on that front. But I hope you too find a path that allows you to find the amazing relationship between a mother and her child (like when you are over 30).
I love you. I adore you. I admire you. And I will always be here for you.
All my love, affection and gratitude,