Today marks your 18th birthday. You've waited for this day for a while now and I guess it's because you're arriving at this checkpoint that should completely change your life. Old enough to walk into a nightclub, buy your own smokes and alcohol (I know that's what most 18 year olds are excited about). But hopefully, you're also old enough to remember that you have ultimate control over your life and future. So you're not cotton-wooled by your parents and you haven't had that many boundaries set by anyone. Sometimes (okay maybe most of the time) that hasn't been the greatest thing for you.
You've already experienced the strong ache of abandonment, disappointment, loneliness, hurt and confusion. You've crawled and scratched your way through doing whatever you can to get by to survive. Then things changed. Then I got a call from your Dad, asking us to take you for a year because he was worried about what would happen if you continued to wander down the road you were on.
It's not that they didn't care or love you, but it's like I always say, our parents are just older versions of ourselves and when do we ever have all the answers? The whole world is marching around trying to make sense of their surroundings and situations. So take that with all the understandings you've gained throughout the year. You know you're not perfect and you know we're not perfect. We're all trying to get through this life being as good as we possibly can and one of the biggest joys I've experienced this year is watching you open up and realise that you are good and that you can do good.
So after all the screaming and banging on bench tops I'm so happy that I can remember these times on at least my both hands combined. I think one hand would suffice but you may beg to differ so I'm rounding it up just to be fair. These moments aside, this house, my classroom, our car.....everything reminds me of you and our good times. The times when we grumbled cause we had nothing to eat....the times when we fought over what movie to watch and the times when we'd sit devouring our fave bowl of noodle box......even dying while you and Theresa watched the Kardashian's wasn't all that bad because that's what you guys loved.
So me being me; never wanting to talking about my 'feelings', I wanted to write and say all the things I don't usually say.
- I am so grateful that we have had this year together to grow into our family. You're no longer my brother's daughter, you're our baby now.
- I am so happy that you have achieved the goals that you have set for yourself.
- I'm worried about you when you're not here and I'm thinking about you often even though I don't text or call (but to be fair I don't text or call many people).
- I'm glad that I know you're never trying to be rude, you just process things slower than others and you're wired differently to me.
- You are beautiful inside and out.
- You are a great big sister and you'll always be that.
- You are capable of achieving ANYTHING you care to chase and work for.
- I'm thankful for EVERY SINGLE MOMENT we've spent together.
My darling girl, or should I say....OUR darling girl (my sister has put in countless hours of conversation and reassurance and practical help with organising everyday life)... HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY. I want you know how important and how loved you are. You are kind, generous, beautiful, insecure, uncertain and hard to figure out....We've always said "I just don't get you" but that's what makes you and all this so beautiful.
I love you,
Aunty Mele xo