Sixteen years ago tonight, you entered the world. Your birth was the easiest of your siblings, but that’s about all that was easy. We’ve learned together how to do this dance we live—it hasn’t always been simple, but I can say without equivocation that I am thankful every single day that I get to be your mom.
What a year you’ve had, kiddo. I know you don’t see yourself as remarkable, but you are. I have been watching you for your entire life, and your dedication and focus and sense of self is a wonder to behold. You haven’t made life easy, but you have absolutely made life for everyone who loves you deeper, richer, funnier, and more expansive.
You’ve always had a myopic focus on the things that bring you joy, happiness, or comfort—whether it’s climbing up to the ceiling fans in the cooler at Costco, committing to an eating plan, or cutting open the couch because you wanted to see what was inside…You decide, and then you don’t look back. And if you fall, or get stymied, or someone gets in your way…you keep going. You keep getting up. You go around. You find some scissors. You stack furniture. You crawl out out a window and run down the street…You move forward with a confidence in your choices that its awe-inspiring.
(Even if it was terrifying when you were little.)
Your family has always known this about you, but this year the world got to see how your innate tenacity mixed with good-weirdness (I’m quoting him, it’s okay) draws people to you. So many hope to be seen and accepted in this world, and you put yourself out there, completely comfortable in your needs and preferences, and others recognized that, and they can know they are okay too. It’s a gift you have, and are sharing.
Now I have to go back and tackle the pile of books waiting behind me—and you’re a huge part of the reason why I am at Law School doing a Very Hard Thing when I really don’t have to. Like you, I want to help people, and because of you, I am called and compelled to give back.
I love you, Beanie.