This morning I woke up with a heavy heart. Today, you turn 18. I am not sure how that is even possible, as I still remember you as a tiny, little angel who loved to cuddle and smile. You were my first. My first of many things. I have learned from you how to be a better aunt, mom and friend. It is because of you that I have learned to love unconditionally with my own kids. Thank you!
As I look back on the years spent with you, I see many images. The happy little girl who kept running into pillows as we would purposely throw them at you and roll on the floor laughing because you kept coming back for more. Watching you play soccer, volleyball and badminton, learning teamwork skills and independence. Babysitting you from the time you were a week old when your mom had to use the bathroom so bad that she woke me up from a deep sleep, scaring the crap out of me and then telling her to sleep while I fed you and put you back to sleep. Now babysitting requires me to call you in advance and schedule a date – and pay you some sort of currency because you had to deal with my little rug rats. Reading you stories when I was home from college – even from my text books because you never cared what I read to you. Vacations to Disney and Michigan, where you grew up before my very eyes. All these memories, jam packed into 18 years, that seem like it has only been 9.
The next few months for you will be a whirlwind as you go to Senior Prom, graduate and move on to the next chapter in your life, COLLEGE! Keep your honest ways. Set yourself up to lead others. Know you are loved and your family will always be there – through the good and bad. On this 18th birthday, celebrate the amazing young woman you are and all that is to come for you! I love you Paityn Jayne!
In honor of family tradition – Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Paityn! Happy Birthday to you! We’ll sing a song for you! And hope all your dreams come true! Cuz it isn’t everyday you have a birthday! So Happy Birthday to you!