Somehow, when I wasn’t really paying attention, I became the mom of a twelve year old.

It seems like just a moment ago she was still a baby. I so clearly remember those early sleepy, snuggly days and those toothless gummy grins. Days when I was literally her whole entire world.

Now when I look at her I see an amazing, strong, imaginative, independent, bubbly, innocent and free-spirited young woman. Seeing the person she is becoming fills me with immense pride, knowing that I had a hand in helping her learn and grow along the way.

In 12 years I have learned that one of the best parts of being a mom isn’t all the wonderful things I’ve been able to teach her along the way, though. It’s all the amazing things that she has taught me — about compassion, selflessness, and the value of laughter. From her I have learned the importance of both inner strength and rising to life’s challenges and admitting when I’m weak and need help. Being her mom has, without a doubt, made me a better person.

Happy birthday, Kiddo. Thank you for being you.


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