Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
It’s taken me a couple of weeks to post this because I’m still in shock. How did we get here? Time is a cruel bitch, the minutes sometimes seem like an eternity but the years have passed by in what feels like, at best, a slow syncopated blink of an eye. It’s too soon for me to have to start letting go, My heart won’t loosen the white knuckle grip it’s had on you since the first moment I saw those 2 pink lines. You’ve been the love of my life from that second. My mind knows that you’re not mine alone. You belong to yourself, I have just been entrusted the privilege and honor of being your mother in this lifetime.
How could you simultaneously only and already be on this earth for 17 years? You came into the world and changed me forever. You literally changed the woman I was, am and will be. You made me stronger, wiser, kinder, more compassionate and better. You gave me a new and more tolerant view of the world. You taught me what it means to love someone so unconditionally and completely that no ask is too big, no request too small, a thousand years not long enough and nothing can ever change that love. It’s unending, unwavering and all-encompassing. I wouldn’t just take a bullet for you, I’m pretty sure I’d be capable of murder for you. No one told me this was what motherhood is.
As you grow our relationship keeps evolving. At every age, I think I couldn’t love you more and then I discover another level. My heart has an unending abyss of love for you. The older you get, the bigger my love which I find incredible because if anyone would have told me on the day you were born that I could ever love anything more than I did in that heart bursting moment, I would have surely called them crazy because I loved you so completely. But here we are with my heart growing grinch-like 2x each day, hour, minute and second. Boundless is the only word that comes to mind and I hope you’ve felt that in your soul every single day of your 17 years here with me.
I am so proud of the young woman you are becoming. You can literally do anything you set your mind to. I just wish you could see yourself through my eyes so that you could see how truly amazing, smart, beautiful, fierce and breathtaking you really are. Stop comparing yourself to me. I am full of flaws. You are the best part of me. Embrace your humanness. There is no shame in being vulnerable, real, kind, compassionate, honest and real. Perfection does not exist. Just be the best you to you, that’s more than enough. Never measure your worth by someone else. There is only 1 you.
The things you consider weaknesses are actually strengths. There are so many people who cannot recognize or accept their vulnerabilities but you know them, embrace them and work through them which makes you stronger than most adults faced with the same situations.
You will always be my baby big paws and as you grow into a woman, my best friend and one of my all time favorite human beings. Please don’t be afraid to be gloriously you in all your honesty and grit. Continue standing up for what you believe in even when it feels impossible. Don’t back down when you have something to say but remember louder doesn’t always mean better. Use your words as swords to defeat ignorance, bigotry and hatred. Believe in yourself.
Trust your gut and love the Bella you see in the mirror. Most importantly, remember we’ve always got your back. No matter how crazy, out of control the circumstances, we’re on your side. Every second of every day.
Don’t be afraid to try. The worst that anyone can say is no. Every failure is the opportunity to get better and to gain wisdom and fresh perspective for the next time. Love each time with your whole heart. Dance and sing like no one’s watching. Travel the world and meet new people. Never be afraid of new things. Every day is the opportunity for a new beginning. You’re never too old for a new adventure and it’s never too late unless you’re dead. Tell people you love them. Don’t be afraid of the unknown and always believe people when they show you who they are. And don’t ever feel guilty for walking away from people, places and situations that no longer serve a purpose in your life. It’s better to walk away than to hold on to things that hold you back and hurt you.
I love you more than words can ever convey but I tried because words are my love language and I love you more than everything. Even a lifetime wouldn’t be long enough to get to be your mother but know that I cherish every single second that I get to be. Happy 17th Birthday Bella! Wishing you a lifetime of happiness, love, laughter, adventure and the courage and power to chase your dreams! You can do all the things!
Love you more