My dear Adriana,
Sixteen years ago you arrived on this planet, and our lives have never been the same. Here are my thoughts for you, today, as you celebrate your Sweet 16. I am so proud of you. I love the woman you are on your way to becoming. I love your strength, and your fortitude, your strong sense of right from wrong, your belief in fairness and order. I love your fantastic humour as well as your sense of self. I love that you challenge yourself, push yourself, work hard and are accomplishing so much through those qualities. I love your confidence and that independent nature of yours. I love your silliness and sense of fun. I love most of all that I get to be your mom, and watch you grow and blossom into this person you are. I am constantly in awe of just how amazing you are.
My wishes for you today, and for your life are simple. Be true to yourself and your beliefs. Know that you are an amazing woman, with so much to offer this world. Tell your story. Be proud of yourself. Try to see the world with a little wonder from time to time, it’s a pretty magical place, allow it to surprise you occasionally. Be always open to possibility.
In a world that sometimes seems so full of hate, remember to always be full of love. Be kind. Be a voice for those who might need one. Especially if that person is you. Be compassionate. Show empathy. Remember the words of Stephen Covey, seek first to understand and then to be understood. Learn to really listen.
As a woman remember that you can be anything you want, and that you deserve equality in all that you strive for. Equal pay. Equal chance for advancement. Equal rights. Fight for them. Fight for every woman before you and after you. Even if it is easier not to. Maggie Kuhn, an activist, once said, “speak your mind, even if your voice shakes”.
Know always that you are loved. I am so grateful for you today, and every day. I am grateful for your laughter, for your making me laugh, for your stories and sharing little parts of your life with me, for your hugs, for your silly texts, for all those things you do that make my days better. You have changed my life in so many ways, and made this journey so much more amazing than I could ever have imagined. Happy Birthday my lovely daughter, I love you more than words could ever express.