Today you turn fifteen years old. Do you know what this means? Your dad and I have only three more years to mould you into a responsible adult, a functional member of society. So far so good, I think, but three years should be just enough time to finish the process, right?
You have dreams and ambitions for after you graduate high school. I love your drive and determination to get where you want to be. You say you want to go to college/university away from Saskatoon and I respect that decision, but I know already that we’re going to miss you. Enough about that, though, let’s focus on the right now, shall we?
The very best gift you kids can give me is to be kind to each other. I know it’s hard sometimes, but I love it so much when you play with or hang out with Liliana. She looks up to you so much. She absolutely adores any attention you give her.
I love that we have so much in common. The older you get, the more similarities I see, both in us now and me at your age. The latter scares me because I hope you make better choices than I did. I hope you stand up for yourself and take pride in who you are. I hope that you never let anyone else determine your worth. You already have a lot of self-confidence and I hope that continues, because nobody can take that away from you.
I love that you feel the same way about Star Wars and Harry Potter that I do. That they are the best things about this life we live. Even though we’re in opposing Hogwarts houses (you in Gryffindor, me in Ravenclaw), I’m ok with it. Jedi and wizards and witches are real. Accio Hogwarts letter via the Millennium Falcon!
You and your dad share a love of video games. I’m so glad that the two of you have something in common that you can share. I can’t even think of the names of any games you two play together because I pay so little attention. I know that he very much enjoys spending time with you beating bosses or whatever it is you two do. You guys have been playing Magic the Gathering lately too, which is hilarious because he once wrote me a poem about how he didn’t play Magic the Gathering. Apparently things change when one is the father of a teenage girl.
You love art. You love to draw and paint and create things. Your room walls are full of your creations. We got you a gift card for an art supply store for your birthday because there were just too many options to choose from so we let you choose yourself. I’m looking forward to seeing what you create.
You enjoy writing. You are constantly writing stories and making sure we read them.
I know we told you that when you’re 15 you’re allowed to have a boyfriend, but listen. This doesn’t mean you need one. Teenage boys are overrated. And if one hurts you in any way, I will hurt him. I already know one boy who is scared of me, and it brings me great joy. I’m hoping that that fear means respect, because if a boy does not respect you or your parents, he is not worth it. Trust me.
Right this moment, you are at camp. You love camp. You thrive there. You get to be there two weeks this year rather than one and you couldn’t be happier about it. I’d be sad that you’re not at all homesick, but I know that your lack of homesickness is because your dad and I have brought you up to be independent, that you can go out into the world without us, without fear. We’re so glad we can give you this experience, though we wish we could be with you on your birthday.
You are unique, my dear Kaylie. You are confident and courageous and beautiful and funny and impressing us all the time. Your dad and I are so proud of the woman you’re becoming. Keep being you, ok?