This is probably one of the hardest birthday wishes to you because no longer are you considered a teen. Maybe it seemed easier when you were a teen because I always knew that you'd need me still. I know, I know, you still need me but just not in the same way.
Let's flash back to the very first time I heard you laugh. You had the greatest laugh that went from your belly and bubbled up into your heart. That laughter has sustained me in many ways.
I think back to all of the tough things we've endured together. You were in a leg cast from the time you were 3 months old until you were 6 months old. Still, it never prevented you from trying to crawl. Even when you fell every time you ran, you continued to run. I still remember yelling, "Don't run!" then, "Oops, you're okay" after you bit the dust.
You and your sister were the best of buds. Had it not been for you coming into our lives, she would've been extremely bored and wouldn't have had anyone to potty train or to eat Skittles with.
You were such a funny girl. You always knew how to make me laugh and you still do. At the weirdest moments you'd announce to strangers, "My daddy fawted." I also loved the pure innocence you had then and still have now. You see the beauty in things that most people wouldn't. "I'm gonna mawwy Stevie Wonder." I'm relieved that you now have a wonderful guy in your life and no it's not Stevie Wonder but someone even better, who's so much like you.
I will always remember how I took you to gymnastics for the very first time at three and you did a perfect cartwheel on the balance beam. No one expected that to happen...including me but you did it, all by yourself and stuck it. Whether you know it or not, you have taught me to feel the fear and do it anyway. There's not much you won't do or attempt to do, because you can.
I love how you are my partner in crime. You never grow irritated when I get lost driving places. You called them adventures, and yes, we made the most of it. Remember the time when it was snowing so hard and you were supposed to be at the gym? To see the joy on your face when I told you that we were heading home instead, so you could play in the snow - it was priceless.
Even now, I can always count on you to be in my corner. It brings tears to my eyes but happy tears to know that you are my cheerleader. The echo of you saying, "My mommy isn't fat, she's beautiful!" still rings in my head over and over again.
Now you're on your own; in your very own place, I'm a little sad but very proud of how settled and wise you are. I knew that you would go places and you are...you're taking the world by surprise!!!
Maybe the old man was right...you really are an old soul that's been here before! :)
I love you so very much and I will always, always brush off your knees and help you back on your feet if you fall. Happy 20th birthday, Jarebear.
Lover of God, my awesome husband, Pastor J, my kids, bonus kids, furkids and chocolate. I'm a writer, with a passion for anything creative. I am silly, clumsy, honest, faithful and often times, pathetic but so thankful that God loves me just as I am.