To my daughter on her 18th birthday

Mothers always want to tell their daughters a million things. Things like, you are beautiful. You are talented. You are smart.

Most of the time we don’t because we understand why those things are met with rolled eyes and lots of “whatevers.”

Here’s the thing. They are all true.

18 is a big deal. It’s the beginning of the next part of your life journey. It’s a time when you are in the great In Between. In between childhood and adulthood. It’s a time of self-discovery and learning and so many life choices. It’s glorious. And terrifying.

Color Guard

And we are here for you. We are here to be your soft place to land. We are here to scoot you out of the nest, if needed. You are fiercely independent. You remind me of myself in that way. But sometimes it’s ok for those of us with stubborn independence to lean on our family.

Science tells us that brains continue to grow and develop until the age of 25. Use these next few years to find yourself. Discover new places and people. Travel a little. Go to school. Find your career. Find new hobbies.

There are so many things I wish I had known when I was your age. There is so much life to be lived. Watching you grow up has been one of the most amazing parts of being your mother. It’s been crazy frustrating sometimes and also leaves me in awe of you. You are quite an amazing human.

I know you’ll find your own path. I look forward to watching your journey. It’s bound to be wonderful.


You are smart.

You are talented.

You are beautiful.



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