Monday, April 27, 2009


HAPPY 15th BIRTHDAY, WOOHOO!

Dear Woohoo,

This week you turn 15, which somehow sounds so much older than 14. You ARE much older than you were a year ago, too. Much.

A year ago you were in eighth grade, middle school, at the end of a long stretch at the same school. You walked in a young five-year-old kindergartner, and walked out a ready-for-high-schooler.

But now you're rounding out your freshman year and are thinking of things like driver's permits, dates to dances, and the shifting sands of friendship.

You're able now to discern the wheat from the chaff, the true friends from the false ones, the ones that have your back and the ones that don't.

Fourteen years ago I took this picture of you with your favorite friend, Bear. He was bright and pink and well-stuffed. Today he is not so much your friend as your pillow. He is still pink if you catch him in the right light, he's shrunk, grainier, his plush has mostly rubbed off. You've made him Real. I swear I look into his scratched up black eyes and a soul looks back at me. Your love did that.

Fortunately, I think you were too young to remember when Rojo insisted on taking Bear to the grocery store one day when you were at preschool. He dropped him and it wasn't until we got home that we realized we'd left Bear. We called the store, we got Daddy, and every manager and all four of us searched every inch of that store until we found him. I never let Rojo touch him again. He takes a lot, but he can't have everything.

I know it's hard being Rojo's sister. The minute he was born the pie got cut disproportionately. You may not get 1/2 of our attention and energy, but I guarantee you get all the love in our hearts.

We couldn't be more proud of you, you are wise and kind, funny and generous. You are honest and sweet, hard working and responsible. And while we may be winding down the number of years you will live in our home, you will always live right in the middle of our hearts.

Happy birthday, Woohoo.

21 comments:

Robin said...

I love this, and the before and after pictures of Bear.

jill said...

oh, that's beautiful. made me cry and i've never met you or your daughter. what a beautiful letter.

graceonline said...

What a beautiful and loving tribute to your teenager. You can bet she's going to do everything she can to continue to validate your trust in her. You deserve a pat on the back for raising such a beautiful child, inside and out. She's a lucky girl, as surely as you are lucky parents.

Angie Ledbetter said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR WOOHOO! You really are the best sissy in the world. And a daughter who IS her Mom's heart.

Kathryn said...

Blubbering here. Such love a mother has for her daughter.

Happy Birthday, Woohoo. What a cute little thing you were.

Kim said...

What a beautiful letter, for a beautiful girl.

Happy birthday Woohoo!!

Mrs. Disch said...

Happy birthday Whoohoo and happy birthday to bear too. You are a special girl and I love knowing how much you love bear :) Emily

Marlies said...

Oh my gosh how beautiful!!Woohoo is lucky to be so loved.

Deb Shucka said...

Happy Birthday Woohoo!!!! You have grown more and more beautiful with each year.

Mom, I wish you had been mine. To have that love, expressed in that way, is enough to light a life on fire.

So what did Woohoo say when she read this?

kario said...

Happy, happy, happy day, Woohoo! I hope you are spoiled rotten on this special day and realize that on your very first birthday you were given the world's best mother for you.

Give yourself an extra hug from me!

jesswilson said...

again, AGAIN you have me in tears. quit it, woman! happy birthday to your sweet and loving girl.

Wanda said...

Happy Birthday, WooHoo. And just so you know...I still have Zippy--a chimpanzee. He is now 50 years old and he is very real.

Jerri said...

Happy Birthday WooHoo!

Jenny said...

Happy birthday to Woo Hoo. What a cute baby pic. I had that same doll

courtneywrites said...

You made me cry. xoxox and birthday wishes!!!

Drama Mama said...

um, ah, well...i'll be back.

a lot here.

Tanya @ Teenautism said...

What a gorgeous letter! And touching photos. Happy Birthday to Woohoo!

marcy said...

I can't count how many times your words make me cry! Thank you!

Michelle O'Neil said...

OH SWEET GIRL! Happy Birthday! I can't believe I missed this post. Love her. Love her bear. Love your love for her.

Love.

Nancy said...

A beautiful expression of love. period.

She said...

Happy belated birthday, Woohoo! I hope it was a good one!

What an awesome tribute to her and to you as her mom! Lovely.