Sixteen years ago today I gave birth to my oldest daughter. In reflection, there are so many thing that have ocurred throughout her life. She is, by far, the most artistic and talented of my children. For that reason, she often is the most difficult of them also.

She is, in some ways, so much like me. She is blunt and honest, almost to a fault. In speaking with people, she very much "calls it like she sees it". Not a bad thing over all, but some people have said she is vicious.

The dreams I had for her when she was little will never come to fruition. Not through any failing of hers, but through my own failings. My failing to see her as the person she is; my failing to "wish" for greatness in ways she's not capable. On the other hand, she WILL be a sensational person. Her talents are endless, and she knows who she is and what she wants. Nothing, and no one (not even MOM) will stand in her way.

I am infinitely proud of her morals and values. Infinitely proud that she has chosen to bypass societal conventions. She chooses to take her own path, no matter what others think. She plays her own songs, and dances to them at will. No follower, and no leader is she... she's an independent entity, and that above all other things is what I cherish most about her.

I have chosen today to tell her these things. To tell her that I find her different, in a VERY good way. I have chosen today to let her know that no matter how she wears her hair, make-up, or clothing... she is SPECIAL. She, of my children, will have the hardest time making her place in the world. Yet she, of my children, will be the one to go the furthest. Always staying true to herself, and not what the world thinks she should.

To you... my daughter... A Very Special Birthday. To you, my daughter, the most wonderful of all gifts... I allow you to be yourself, yet be there to help if you fall. I offer you my wisdom, my shoulder, and my unconditional love. Sweet day, my girl... your life is only just beginning!!