Today you become a teenager. At this age, time seems to be on your side, but don’t take it for granted. I don’t know if you have been counting the days until today like you did when you were little, but you will soon see the days move faster and faster. One day you will look back on the next 5 years of your life and they will seem like the blink of an eye. It seems like you have a lifetime ahead of you, but time slips away so fast, you won’t even know what happened.
Just look at how quick this last year flew by. I know we try to stay busy and fit a lot in, but there is never enough time. There are so many places to see, people to love, conversations to share and long walks to have. We may not get to do everything we plan, and some days may not go anything like we planned, but never forget to cherish every day, because it is a gift. Always wake up grateful and go to bed even more grateful. There will never come a day when you are too old to grow. Always strive to be a little greater and leave the world a little better at the end of each day.
I have watched you grow so much over the last 10 years. You were once shy and now you can capture all the attention in the room like a pro. The first time I saw you run, I jokingly asked your dad what you were doing, and now you are placing in 5ks. You struggled throughout elementary school only to make honor roll every semester in middle school, which did not come without extreme effort.
You have been through more in the first five years of your life than anyone should be forced to bear and you came out on top.
Don’t remember it with sorrow for your past, but rather focus on the hope it gives you for your future. It means you not only survive, but you strive. It means that whatever life throws at you, you got this. And if life doesn’t throw challenges your way, seek them out yourself. Keep yourself on your toes because we don’t grow when life is easy, we grow when life gets tough, and if you come this far, this quick with so much adversity, imagine where your next 13 years will take you!
I love you. I wish you a happy birthday and a blessed 14th year in this world!