This day 18 years ago I was sitting in the hospital, more scared than I've EVER been my entire life, I was so scared I couldn't remember my name or address. I was scared that I would fail you and worried that I couldn't be everything you needed. I was scared that I wasn't ready and here I was with no turning back, the single most important thing I will ever do....I was going to be a MOM!
You were such a pretty little baby, and it was love at first sight. I would just sit and stare at you for hours, and never wanted to put you down. You were always well behaved and smart. You reached milestones before standard times, and you always amazed me and others with your quick wit (and still do).
Turns out that I was not the perfect parent, and I screwed up...a lot. I did and said things, I wish I could take back, and didn't say some of the things I should have. I made some poor decisions and I had every right to be scared..being a parent at times is terrifying.
Now here I sit, terrified once again, because today you turn 18, and the world can be such an ugly place. Have I done enough to prepare you to be an adult? Are you ready for the world? Despite all my faults as a parent, you grew (very quickly) before my eyes into an amazing woman. I realize I should ask instead, is the world ready for you? In you, I find qualities that I hugely admire and sometimes lack. I admire your integrity, you are never afraid to stand up for what you believe in, and defend your stance fiercely. You take up for those that are being treated unfairly. You are strong, independent, and smart, and have rarely given into peer pressure, and have always been your own person. In you I found the strength to say no and to mean it. In you I found the strength and the desire to want to be the best me that I could be. I worry about the hurdles you will have to overcome, but I know that you will face these challenges headlong and headstrong as you have everything else and I know you will succeed. I know, that you will be as amazing as an adult as you were a child.
You have taught me so many things over the years, but the most important thing you taught me was that I could completely and wholly love another person despite anything and everything, that no matter what happens good or bad that I will love you with every ounce of my being forever. In you I remembered my name...Mom.
Happy 18th birthday Madison I love you forever and always, to lands far apart, put it in my pocket to keep forever.