Today you are 15 years old. WOW.
I really thought I would be all teary eyed today, but instead I am super-duper excited for you. Just think of all the amazing things in store for the NEXT 15 years of your life! College, career, travel, new friendships and relationships….. You will spend the next 15 years becoming your own person.
Last week we were at dinner and sitting across from me at the table you were so grownup. You talked about school, track, friends, and boys. Then you started talking about college and how you want to travel to China and I was so blown away by how you have grown into such a smart, caring, and happy young woman.
You have always been fearless (except around palmetto bugs and that’s understandable). Even as a baby you were fearless. You were walking at ten months and so gleeful that you could careen forward from one location to another. I would walk behind you with my arms stretched towards you trying to guide you away from sharp corners and large steps, but still letting you go where you wanted. Sometimes you would start to fall and I would catch you and you would be so mad at me for stopping you. Sometimes you would fall and I would let you fall, because I knew that we were in a safe space and you wouldn’t get hurt. I’m surprised by how much of this I do now. I try so hard balancing being there for you to keep you from getting the big hurts and keeping my distance so you can find your own way through Life’s little bumps and bruises. It is actually really difficult and I pray everyday that I get the right balance of being your mom first and a friend second.
My birthday wish for you this year is that you will embrace being true to yourself. If you want to run… run. If you want to spend three hours putting on make-up to create the perfect “classic winged” eyeliner look … go for it. This isn’t a wish for you to do what ever makes you happy… happy is temporary and sometimes what makes us happy now leads to unhappy consequences later. This is a wish for you to lookout for Alicia Hope. For you to determine what YOU want to be whether that is an orthodontist or a makeup artist. Find what you are passionate about and DO IT. Surround yourself with positive people who appreciate how awesome you are and, above all, do not underestimate the power of female friendships. Boys some and go, but the positive friendships you form with women will last a lifetime. The world can be really mean to girls and it is so important for women to stick together and lookout for one another.
Happy Birthday, Alicia Hope . I have a feeling that 15 is going to be awesome.