I was sitting down to write your birthday blog post last night, but I logged onto Facebook first. As one does. This turned out to be serendipitous. As things are.
The first post that popped up in my feed was a thank you from one friend to another. Not just a simple thank you, but a life-changing, you wrestled me from the depths of depression and gave me purpose kind of thank you. It started, “I think every year, there is someone in your life who comes along, and often unknowingly or without specific intent, gives you the boost or the confidence to take a chance and better yourself. Like a Personal Person of the Year.”
Lovely, isn’t it? Being touched by another human being to the extent that they would thank you like that? Believe it or not, you are that person for me. So, today, on your nineteenth birthday, I’m dubbing you my Personal Person of the Year. Thank you.
You certainly didn’t know you were going to change my life when you came into the world, but you definitely did. I had a great job and good relationships, but I didn’t have a purpose. Once you arrived, I wasn’t just existing anymore. I was LIVING. And I had a reason to eat, sleep, breathe and bake chicken nuggets. Bonus.
Seventeen years ago, when you were deep in your Barney phase, there was a song about how great it would be if all the raindrops were lemondrops and gumdrops, “…standing outside with our mouths open wide…ah, ah, ah….” But, you and I both know that life isn’t like that. If all the raindrops were lemondrops and gumdrops, it wouldn’t be all that great. Basically, we’d be getting pelted with candy.
That’s kind of how things have been. Life is sweeter, but the road to get here has been riddled with potholes because unexpected nonsense came falling from the sky. And as much as I tried to patch things so you could travel smoothly, I couldn’t. I’m so sorry for that pain. But, I’m so proud of the way you’ve pulled yourself out of those holes and paved your own way.
Two years ago, you were barely functioning. In your nineteenth year, you have been able to leave home, start a challenging college career, begin a new job AND you spend early mornings volunteering. You’ve made new friends, joined a philanthropic community, and continue to be the best daughter a mom could ever ask for. Please lower the bar, because you’re making me look bad to your grandma.
Watching you climb from darkness and thrive has given me the boost I needed. I want to be smarter, kinder, see more, do more, eat, sleep, breathe. I want to be a woman as wonderful as my daughter. That’s why you’re my Person of the Year. You didn’t know you were doing it, but you changed my life for the better.
Happy birthday, baby girl. I’m so glad you were born.