I can’t believe you are 13-years-old now. You are officially a teenager.
I remember the months I was pregnant with you. I was so scared. I was scared that I could not love you as much as I loved your sister. I thought my heart was already full. I was worried that I had forgotten how to be a mother to a newborn baby since it had been almost five years since your sister was born.
On April 6, 2002 my heart grew. I realized I had plenty of room for you. I loved you more than I could dream. After you were born I couldn’t sleep all night. I wrote out your birth announcements in the hospital while watching you sleep.
You were so different than your sister. You were my princess where your sister was my tomboy. You let me put earrings in your ears and bows in your hair. You loved to act silly and to hear stories. You wanted someone to read to you until you learned to read to others.
I remember the day the doctor told me you had a stroke in utero. I was devastated. I felt like I failed you. No matter how many times your neurologist told me it wasn’t my fault and nothing I could have done would have changed it, I still couldn’t help but feel guilty for not being able to protect you before you were even born. I remember the day the doctors told me you would never walk and if you did that you would never run. I remember the day the doctors told me I would be lucky if you spoke many words.
I’ve never been more thankful to see a group of doctors be wrong.
I watched you grow to be a big sister. You were instantly protective of your little brother and always trying to help, even when it wasn’t easy for you.
I have watched you go through more tests than I can count. Spend more time in the hospital than some of their employees have in their entire career. Undergo six major surgeries and numerous minor operations. I have witnessed you remain strong and fierce through it all. Deal with more than I could even imagine myself.
You have always been so full of life. Trudging along just as all the other kids do. Working hard to keep up and overcome Cerebral Palsy. Seeing the beauty in the little things and appreciating what is around you.
You have struggled to do the things you desire and never stop until you finish. From climbing to the top of a playground jungle gym to rocking climbing just to experience the thrill of zip-lining down. All one-handed. I can never be more amazed than I am when I watch you live.
Your love for reading and your ability to accomplish even the toughest words for most 7th graders is astounding. Watching you run down the street or play with the dogs makes me smile.
Your eagerness to explore the world and your love for relaxing on a cruise just proves you belong to me. No matter how many miles we walk in a day on our long vacations, you always keep up and keep on going.
You have grown into such a beautiful young lady and now you are a teenager. I just can’t believe it. I also couldn’t be more proud.
With love always,