happy 14th birthday piper - 5

“She was beautiful, but not like those girls in magazines. She was beautiful for the way she thought. She was beautiful for the sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful for her ability to make other people smile, even if she was sad. No, she wasn’t beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful deep down to her soul.”

Let’s get past the obvious – how in the world are you 14? How has it been so long since you rushed into the world at lightning speed and turned us all upside down? My happy, chunky little sidekick has grown into a beautiful teenage girl.

Piper, there’s so much to love about you. I’ve been blessed to have some special one-on-one time with you this past year. With grace and class, you have pushed through every obstacle that has entered your path. Seeing that happen on your own, without much if any help from me, is just one more way that I know that you are ready for this world. (Although I’m not entirely sure that the world is ready for you!)

piper - happy birthday 14We saw a lot of the country together last year. You made friends in dance that took you from sea to shining sea. Many parents would ask why I just didn’t send you on your own? Why do I always tag along when you are obviously equipped to handle things alone? My answer: because I didn’t want to miss it. I love watching you shine your light. I love seeing you enjoy your life. Most people don’t understand the “why” in everything that you do. But I get it – and support it all the way!

Thirteen was so good, but you made some tough calls as well. I got to see you love cheerleading at school. What a fun time – you are always so happy anyway. You were the perfect cheerleader. Seeing you walk through the decision of not trying out again was hard. So many tears and what-if’s that you had to comb through. As a mom, I supported you 100% but prayed over and over that you were making the right choice. Fast forward to the week of cheer camp … we were in Orlando for Tremaine Nationals (the ultimate choice you had to make – cheer camp or Tremaine). The gala had finished – you had danced on stage as a company member more than once and your studio team had made the Gala performance … the season was officially over. You made the right choice. Your face said it all. And the tears you shed that night as you said goodbye to your friends and bid farewell to a perfect season left me speechless. You knew all along where your heart belonged and you were so right.

happy 14 birthday piperI’ve seen you watch your closest friends go through some very dark times. You never leave them. You don’t tell their stories or run to others with the drama. You are like Fort Knox with a secret. Everyone needs a friend like you, Piper. I’ve always gotten to watch you encourage and celebrate the people closest to you. It’s an awesome trait to be able to genuinely be happy for someone else. You have been that way your entire life. Don’t ever change.

Piper Kendall, you make me laugh so hard and smile from ear-to-ear every day. I cherish every second that I get to spend with you and I’m so grateful that God has allowed me to be your mom. I hope you will make the best of every single situation and opportunity that 14 brings. Know that I will move heaven and earth for you to reach every dream your curly little head can dream … I promise that.

I love you so much,