It was my sweet niece's sweet 16 today. She's such a doll and love her to pieces. I can't believe how much it made me think about the day my own sweet, baby girl will turn 16. I thought about what she'll look like, what she'll love, and whether or not we'll be the best of friends.
Mostly I thought about what I hope for my baby girl to remember on that special day. 16 is a very special year. It's a birthday that makes a girl feel grown up, but not too grown up to be on their own quite yet. It's a milestone. It's a year of learning more about who you are and what you want. It's a year that usually involves some heartache and disappointment. Whether with friends or a boy. It's a year where you might really start to think about the future and maybe recognize that being a grown-up really isn't that far away. Or maybe it's the year you really come into your own. You blossom. You figure out that you are special no matter what anybody else says.
Today I've thought about myself at 16. I've thought about the growth, the mistakes, the self-discovery. I've thought about my beautiful, little girl. What will the world be like when she's 16? What growth, mistakes, and self-discovery will she go through? I thought about how I hope she always knows I'm her biggest fan and constant cheerleader. That I love her no matter what. Then I thought about what I hope for my Roni on the morning of that Sweet 16. And let's just say, the tears were not far and in between. My sister-in-law says that being a mother has softened her heart...Today, I feel that softened heart. Because mine has been softened too.
Here are my wishes for you Reese on that big day. I hope they all come true, but if they don't, it doesn't matter. Because it's your journey, and I know whatever happens it will be beautiful.
I hope you are happy. I pray that you wake up on your 16th with a love for life. That you are excited for what the day has in store, and that you seize every opportunity to be amazing. Because you are.
I pray that you know how much your family loves you. You don't have siblings as I'm writing this, but I hope you have younger siblings on your Sweet 16. I hope you can see how much they adore you and look up to you. I hope you see through the fights and annoying things they do. Because when it all comes down to it, they will be yours to watch over forever. You will always be a big sister, and that is something to be proud of. It is your calling. God sent you first for a reason, and I'm so glad He did.
Even more than your siblings though, I hope you have embedded in your heart how much your parents love you. Unconditionally. Wherever you are on your journey, we are right behind you, supporting you and loving you. If you fall, we might not always be able to pick you up even though we wish we could, but we are right beside you with a helping hand and a listening ear at the ready.
I hope you have a strong sense of who you are. Your divinity. Your beauty. Inside and out. You have a purpose. You are on this earth for a reason. Even if that reason is unknown to you right now, I promise that as you trust in yourself and God that you will discover that purpose and life will unfold exactly as it should. Others will try to bring you down. Try to make you feel that you have no worth. Don't let the world crush your spirit. Be beautiful and inspiring because that's who you are. Find the strength inside to overcome the negativity that might seem unbearable.
I pray that on your Sweet 16 you've discovered the importance of kindness and to treat others with respect and love. I hope your heart is filled with compassion for all of God's children. I hope you find friends that feel this way too. Find friends that encourage you to be the best you and that love you no matter what. Don't burden yourself with drama. It's not worth your time or energy. Be a light to those around you because that's what will naturally draw people to you. The kind you want to be drawn to you.
My biggest dream for you though is to blossom into the beautiful woman you are becoming. Embrace who you are and don't be afraid to stand out!
I love you baby girl and want to be happy. Never forget that.
Happy Sweet Sixteen Roni.
Love, Your Momma