Dear Carley Suzanne-
How is it possible you are 16 today? I see you in front of my eyes-this amazing young woman that I always knew you would be and I am proud that I get to be your mom. As proud as the day 16 years ago when you came into my life.The day you made Taylor a big sister!-I had my 2 girls!
You are my second born-my smallest baby-my youngest daughter-the middle child. You were the one who taught me I did have enough LOVE to go around. You came home and fit right into our family-surprising me by sleeping through the night on your first night home! (Always that overachiever-LOL!)
You of all my kids spent the most time in daycare (starting at 5 weeks until you went to school) while I worked so hard on my career-you thrived even though I felt I cheated you out of something, you just went with the flow, while smiling! You enjoyed the perks of my job-like being an elf in Santa's Workshop, Playing at the pool while I did my work there, going to all the concerts and special events like "Boo Bash".
We made it work.
You were only three when dad and I divorced, but you don't blame or feel unloved. You just loved more! Going back and forth from Mom's house to Dad's house-is just something you seem to do-not a big deal to you. You accepted the new people into your life like your "Rowney" as well as taking on the task of being a big sister at 4 1/2 when Connor was born with such joy! I can still see you standing by his cradle singing your made up songs to him and later doing whatever it took to make him laugh. not that you didn't take advantage of the big sis role...You had him play"Pretty, Pretty Princess" and marry your life size Barbie!
You have excelled at school from day one-I remember your kindergarten teacher telling me that she was sure that if she needed you to you could teach the class :) We fought hard and you were accepted into the "gifted" program-what a blessing for you to keep you challenged and watch you spread your wings. You became a "true bookworm"-devouring any book you could get your hands on! (still do-now we get to share books and you introduced me to the "Twilight"series when you discovered them last year-yes we have to see the movie!)
So many adventures...pageants watching you learn to be poised and confident, make new friends and learn so much about yourself (plus all the traveling including Florida to Nationals which included seeing and touching your first dolphin!).....Odyssey of the Mind and going to World competition in Colorado.....and then going on the band trip last spring to watch & hear you compete with the high school band in a real Symphony Hall as well as our extra time in Galveston! All of it as been special, because we did it together. I wouldn't have missed it for the world!
Our greatest challenge as a family came when we became a proud military family and watched "our soldier" go to a far off place to fight a war then come home wounded. I know it is something difficult for us all to deal with-since we had no idea how wounded it really made all of us in our own ways-You have been so brave even though I know you deal with your own "moments" that bring the pain back. You have been there for me Carls-I needed those hugs and an ear to listen.
Thank you for you love and patience!
I cherish all the memories we have as well as the special bond we share.
I love to watch you loving life as well as seeing you live you life true to your faith in God.
Your talents are many, your compassion is to honored and your ability to work so hard to succeed is beyond measure. I admire & respect the person you are and cannot imagine all life holds for you.
So on this 16th Birthday-I say to you my precious daughter......You are my inspiration for a life well lived! Happy, Happy Birthday my Sunshine-continue to smile and reach for your dreams-let nothing get in the way!
You know I love you-more than the moon, stars and PEPSI!
You Trying to Keep Imagining!