A Love Song in Fifteen Parts

My almost youngest child and sometimes known as my middle child turned 15-years-old today. How could that happen so fast? How could it be that this child, the one who has seemed forever part of my life but just arrived already has reached 15? I can’t speak to the nature of time, only that it passes in a blink and in a crawl. I can speak a bit about the drop-dead gorgeous woman child that shares my genes.

A love song in fifteen parts for you Rebecca:

You warn us to “be safe” and always say “I love you!” when we part–superstition on your part, but do you know this belongs to me as well? That I whispered “I love you” every night over your beds for years, that I think be safe, I love you whenever I can’t be with you.

You’ve been my early bird child since before you were born. (though like your siblings you lingered past your due date) I love the fact that you wake with the sun and find the blessing of the sun.

While others see the scatterbrain, I see the ferocious focus in your life. The awesome power of that focus can change the world.

Your writing astounds me. You’ve got a writer’s brain and way with words.

You believe in magic but most of all I wish for you to believe in you.

Speaking of belief, believe in the goodness in everyone, believe in the love in them–yes, with a heart so close to your skin–it is easier to believe otherwise to think yourself safe but love does conquer all.

Know that your eyes are beautiful and compelling. Your eyes like the sea in Oregon, like the Great Lakes, like the ocean near where your father and I first spoke of children and love.

Your love of books makes my heart sing. You, of all my children, read as voraciously as I do. I may fuss about you escaping into a book, but I do the same. One day I hope you venture around the library or a book store and pick up a random book and trust the right books to fall into your hand–unlike your current habit of plotting your reading like a military exercise.

Thirteen and Fourteen were rough years for you and I sing you the song of a smoother year for fifteen. It does get better.

I always say these days that my proudest moment was driving the big moving truck to Florida from Maryland, alone and in a day. But, really, it was the keynote-not for the fact of the keynote itself, but for being able to sing that love song and look you in the eyes as I did so–a moment proud because you know I chose to write something well, you know I chose to chase a dream and a moment proud because my daughter, you, saw me up there doing what I set out to do. Not every daughter sees that in her mother but you did, first hand, and you cared.

You love to learn and I love that you love to learn. Be a student inside of school and out for the rest of your life. I sing you a song of curiosity and questions. Learn about things, about people, and never stop asking questions.

The love song of course has a song of remembering the time for yourself–for the scooter time, the walking, the mindless repetition of activity, the magic of motion and thought.

This year I sang you a sparkle party and gave you a sparkle necklace to honor the sparkle in you. That sparkle makes people take notice. That sparkle got you chosen as a BlogHer Voice of the Year. That sparkle had Laurie White represent your piece with a photo of sparkle. Never forget that sparkle, never hesitate to pull it out at the right time…but remember that it can overwhelm. Sing your sparkle song quietly in those places. You’ll be loved either way.

Your beauty amazes me and others–recognize it in yourself and care for yourself inside and out, even if you don’t see that beauty yet.

And for the fifteenth part of the love song remember what I have told you forever-you are my favorite, even if you aren’t always my favorite for everything. And of course, anything, anywhere, any time. Always.


  1. I hope you all had a lovely birthday celebration. Happy birthday, Rebecca.

    That said, I hope that both of you realize how lucky you are. I know, without a doubt, that my mom loves me. Now. At 15? Things were difficult, at best. If she would have written me something like this? Well, I don’t know. But not every mother-daughter pair has this. And for the two of you to have it? I am grateful for you both.

  2. She had a great birthday at both houses it sounds like. 🙂

  3. I may be a little late, but my hugs are filled with just as much love. ((((((((((Rebecca)))))))))))) Happy Birthday sweet Rebecca….YOU ARE AWESOME! Love, Joy

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