My beautiful Birthday Girl, Ells,
I cannot believe you are 14 years old. Where did the time go?
It seems like only yesterday when the midwife placed you in my arms, all 7lbs 6oz of you. Your eyes were deep blue, skin a little jaundiced but perfect and unmistakeably mine. You were forward even then, rolling over from birth and eager to take in all the sights. You had everyone who laid on eyes on you wrapped around your tiny little finger, and I am pretty sure you knew it too.
It was a rough beginning. An absent father, and having to be more independent than I would have liked but needs must back then. Looking at you now, with a drive to succeed in your hearts desires, we have the benefit of seeing the blessing it was for us to have gone through all that. You are stronger than I was at your age, and you will surpass anything I have been able to achieve. I am so proud of you for that.
Our journey has been a rollercoaster one, exciting, painful and all the other things life has to offer. Together you and I have overcome a lot. At times it has been difficult between us, as you have tried to figure out your place in this life and me mine, but we always come back together and share a cuddle with each other. We have laughed and rejoiced when your Daddy came along, and we have cried when your Grandad passed away. We have grown together, grafting ourselves into a new family with your Daddy and brothers. It hasn’t always been easy but I know you are loved by all of them so much.
My hopes and prayers for you as you continue to grow and carve out your own path, is that the life I provided for you at the beginning has laid a solid foundation for you to build upon. You can do anything you want to do, if you work hard enough and don’t give up. I hope I have encouraged you enough in that.
Don’t ever give up on your dreams. Always strive for better. You have the passion and ability to achieve anything!
Your Dad and I are incredibly proud of you. Always remember that.
My wish for you, my Birthday Girl, is that this next year is better than the last. Continue to grow in grace, dignity, passion and compassion. Don’t forego your intellectual development for vain pursuits and peer acceptance. That you know every day you are worthy of love, acceptance and respect. That you push through glass ceilings and conquer your own fears and anxieties.
All my love always