You're so cooperative when I want to take your picture.
You're all heart.
And no matter how you try to hide it, it shows.
You are an optimist! That'll serve you well in life, I promise.
You are a hugger!
But I like it, nonetheless.
You are a good and kind daughter.
Don't ever underestimate what a great quality that is in a person. It matters immensely.
You are a thinker.
AND a doer.
I'm so grateful to have you in my life, not just because I love who you are, but I love the example you provide my (other) babies.
You're a bit of a goofball.
I am too.
And a sunshine girl.
(This is no reason to move to California. Ever.)
And not just when it's easy.
And not just to some, but to all.
You wear a bang well.
Not everyone can, so that's on the list.
Same goes for big sunglasses. It's not always a good look, but you pull it off swimmingly. (Get it? Swimmingly? The picture is... Never mind.)
You puzzle. Standing up. Because you can't walk by without looking.
I do that too, and none of my (other) children do, so I'm so glad to have at least one child with this mania.
It makes me so proud!
You didn't become my baby overnight, of course.
(Yes you did, because you were so stinkin' cute from the get-go.)
I have watched you grow up.
And overjoyed at the (pretty in pink) person you have always been.
And after all these years I am soul-satisfied to know that my voice of reason and good conscience will always, always be in your head.
I'm sure you're excited about that last part, too.
And if you aren't now, you will be some day, promise.
As you know, in our culture - a culture we've shared with you all these years - your fifteenth birthday marks your passage from a time of childhood into young adulthood. It's an old tradition and way back in the day would have meant you'd be good to go on marriage and children. I'm NOT by any means suggesting we stick with the entire tradition. (In fact, it would be great with me if you would usher in an era of 'new cool' by not dating at all until college. Or after college. Whatever. I'm just saying.)
Because, lovely Lauren, you are my baby.