Let's see if I can get through this post without shedding a couple of tears.
My friends, it's finally here, my daughter turns 16 today and I am feeling extremely emotional. This beautiful little red head that was placed in my arms and made me a mother for the first time, is now this gorgeous independent, self assured 16 year old young woman and I don't quite know how to handle that.
Proud doesn't even come close to what I feel for this child.
She hasn't always been the easiest to raise, truth be told, her strong personality and her stubbornness are traits which I admire but also detest at times. She's a handful to be sure.
But, she is also the sweetest and kindest, and funniest, loving, honest, trustworthy, big hearted, sensitive girl I've ever come across and I couldn't have asked for a better daughter.
16 is a huge milestone, it's that big step towards womanhood, it opens up a whole new set of responsibilities and gets her one step closer to graduating and being out of the house.
As a mom I want to hold on to her for the rest of my life, I don't want to let her go, I want to continue picking her up when she falls, cradling her in my arms or rocking her to sleep when she's not feeling well.
I kept thinking that I wouldn't be able to do that anymore now that she's a young lady, but truth is, I can, it is just different in the way I am there for her.
I've sat with her when she was hurting, I've held her in my arms when she had a fight with her boyfriend, I've nursed her back to health when she wasn't feeling well, I've helped her with school work, I've talked to her for hours about everything and anything, we've shared laughs, and she's held me up when I'm down.
I know some moms cringe at the word friend and believe you should never be your children's friend, only their mom. I happen to believe the opposite, I don't think you need to not be their friend to be a good mother. Thankfully I am both to this gorgeous girl and I wouldn't have it any other way.
So, here we are, 16 years old, with the whole world before her and I am so happy that I get a front row seat to watch it all unfold.
For now though, I'm going to sit and cry a little because I can't believe she's actually this old.
Happy Birthday Jasmine, I love you with every fiber of my being and I'm so proud of the young woman you've become. :)