You of all people know that I am awful at finding the perfect birthday present. I can know a person inside and out, but I usually end up picking out a generic gift card or useless item from Target on these special days. However, this is your birthday, and it is the last celebration we will share before I leave for college. Instead of spending money on something you probably wouldn’t want, I decided to write you a letter.
You have always been the one I look up to. You will always be the one I look to for advice and inspiration. You have always been there to catch me when I fall, but more importantly, you are always there to cheer me on when I shine. A wise man once said, “Mother knows best,” and in every situation, this has proven to be true.
Thank you for not only encouraging me to study, but also for helping me realize my own intelligence. I appreciate you buying me the make-up I wanted, but I am more thankful that you constantly remind me that I am naturally beautiful. Your confidence in me has instilled a strong belief in myself, and I would never be the person I am today without your wisdom and guidance.
I have always strived to be exactly like you. When boys teased me in school, I always wondered, “What kind of witty response would Mommy say?” When life seemed too hard to handle, I always thought, “How would Mommy react to this?” You are the type of woman that every little girl wants to be. You are brave, intelligent, and a person with integrity. I have grown up wanting to be exactly like you.
Whenever we’re out in public, strangers look at us and say we look like sisters. Our similar physical features are undeniable. We have the same big, chocolate brown eyes. We have the same smile that stretches as wide as the whole world when we’re happy. We’re both vertically challenged, standing just below 5-feet tall. I usually joke that I’m tired of everyone saying that I look just like you. But on the inside, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be compared to you. Although our physical appearance is strikingly similar, it seems that your personality is the polar opposite of mine at times. At times that I would get flustered, you would always know what to say. Whenever I feel reserved, you are radiant in your confidence. I have always wanted to have your quick-witted, carefree, and poised personality, but we are sometimes totally different..
But you have taught me that that is okay.
You have raised me to be independent. You have always wanted me to grow up to be my own person, not a replica of you or anyone else. I am an only child, and you have taught me the importance of formulating my own opinions and viewpoints. You have instilled in me the importance of prayer, and you have taught me how to always have faith when times get hard. I have learned that I do not always have to think exactly like you, but to simply become the daughter that makes you proud. I am sorry that I let you down sometimes. I’m sorry that sometimes I appear to be ungrateful and selfish when it comes to how much you sacrifice for me. It is true that I have become spoiled to your infinite love, and sometimes I take so much for granted. However, I do thank God everyday that you are my mother. I am thankful that you have taught me to be myself and not just follow the crowd. I am grateful that I have learned to be the person who I want to be instead of the person who everyone expects me to be. I am so grateful that I have such an amazing woman as my best friend.
When I leave next month to start the next chapter of my life at Baylor, I am going to miss you more than you could ever imagine. We have never spent that much time away from each other before. Yes, I am obviously a “Momma’s girl.” Yes, I am a big baby. I wouldn’t have it any other way. There is no one else I’d rather watch movies with until 4am or drive around town with singing songs from Grease. You are my partner-in-crime, and your dirty jokes are always funnier than any of my friends’. You are the one I tell all my deepest secrets to, and you are truly the sole person who I can be my silly and goofy self around. I am going to miss our special moments together. You know me better than anyone. Our bond is so close, and I know that bond is unbreakable.
It is your birthday, and I know it seems like I will be leaving you behind instead of giving you a gift. But please take this letter. Please know that I will always be your little girl no matter what. I may surprise you in life, and that surprise may be amazingly great or terribly bad. Just know that you are still the woman I strive to be. I cannot promise that I won’t make mistakes, but I promise to live a life that is filled with positivity and happiness, just like you have taught me. You will always be my role model, and my decisions in life are subconsciously made wondering if you would be proud of me.
Strangers in public are not always wrong when they assume that we’re sisters. You are the sister I never had. You are my best friend, and you always will be. Happy birthday, Mommy. I hope this is better than a lame card from Target.