It makes me think of so many things, seeing you turn 17 years old.
Mostly how proud I am. A little how nervous I am, but mostly just proud.

A year ago, we had to make some huge sacrifices on your Sweet 16, because we were still in the throes of widespread chaos; we promised you that we’d make up for it. A year later, we still aren’t able to throw you “a huge rager” like we joked about, but we were able to orchestrate a couple days with your best friend since 2nd grade. Thanks for coming, C.

It’s like I blinked, and wham… you’re a year older.
Even prettier.
Even more hard-headed, but… I know where you get it from.

The truth is, it’s been a pretty Hurricane year. Some big strides made, milestones, some big arguments, and some even bigger hugs. Mom and I still stand back after all of it, and we just smile. You make us so proud, kiddo.

It’s hard to admit you’re becoming an adult; it’s even harder to believe the toddler I used to chuck throw pillows at while she figured out walking is about to make her way out into the world behind the wheel. Mom and I don’t say it without a little grimace of “ugh where is the time going”, but… Happy 17th Birthday, kiddo.

We love you like you wouldn’t believe, and we are so, sssooooo proud of the person you are growing up to be.

Love you, Doopa. ❤️
Mom and Dad

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