Is it too cliche to ask "where has the time gone?" Weren't you just my little baby, born five weeks early, to two young kids in love but clueless on how to raise a human? How are you turning eighteen years old tomorrow? Why has your childhood flown by in the blink of an eye, when there were so many days that I couldn't wait for you to outgrow a certain phase, reach a certain milestone, become more independent? And now that you've arrived a young man, are you ready?
Have your dad and I done enough to prepare you for the real world? Have we protected your innocence for as long as possible while still getting you ready to go out on your own? That's a very fine line to walk as a parent, you know. To shield you from danger but teach you how to be strong. There were plenty of times, I'm sure, where we held on a little too tightly, but it's only because we couldn't bear the thought of your heart being broken.
From the beginning of your life, you have honestly been such a wonderful child. Born on my birthday, I always tell you that you are my favorite gift. You were a content baby, so easy to please and quick to smile. I could lay you down anywhere and you would put yourself to sleep, no fuss, no drama. You grew into the sweetest toddler who wanted nothing more than to please your parents. I have so many videos showcasing your obedience and willingness to help. At the ripe old age of four, you became the oldest of four children, and though the world probably thought I was in over my head, I knew I had such a mature little helper in you.