Today, you turned fifteen. Fifteen. Wow! This surprises me in two ways. On the one hand, it still seems like you should be a little girl, like I just met you and we are only starting to get to know each other. On the other hand, it seems like you have been in my life forever, and since you are mature beyond your years, I often forget that you are the age you are. I am surprised both by the fact that you are already 15 and that you are only 15.
These last 15 years have been challenging in so many ways, but they have also been some of the most fun and rewarding of my life. You and I have been teaching each other about life, and I think we have both learned a lot. We are still learning.
You are fiercely independent and amazingly responsible. You show a tremendous amount of initiative in a variety of circumstances, and you eagerly pursue knowledge and experiences which you believe will help you achieve your goals or, at the very least, make you a better, more interesting person. Dad and I are so proud of you and know you have a bright future ahead of you.
As is to be expected of someone your age and wide range of interests, you are not quite sure what that future holds. You have played with many ideas for colleges and careers, and I think you put a lot of pressure on yourself to figure all of this stuff out, and you get frustrated when you don't know for sure which path to pursue. It's truly ok that you don't know yet where your road leads. It'll all come together at just the right time. The important thing is that you are currently laying a foundation for your life that will help you be successful no matter which direction (or directions) you choose to go.
This has been a tough year in some ways. We ended our RTW trip and moved to Flower Mound. You started high school and jumped into several AP classes. One of those was outside of home, and it wasn't what any of us expected it to be. There were some hard but worthwhile lessons learned this year, and you are surely stronger because of the trials.
This year was also full of of some really spectacular experiences. You joined the local IEA team and have had so much fun and learned so much through the practices and shows. You performed very well, won a number of ribbons throughout the season, and even advanced to Regionals. You are a natural with the horses, and I think they love you almost as much as you love them.
In December and again in March, you had the opportunity to work with Aunt Bekki in her vet clinic. You loved every minute of it and hope to have similar opportunities in the future. You are still considering vet medicine as a possible future career but are wisely keeping your options open.
We took our new-to-us RV to Florida in January and visited Universal Studios, which you really enjoyed. We are currently on a three-month tour of the Western U.S. and Canada, which you seem to love, aside from missing the barn and horses back in Flower Mound. Tomorrow, if all goes according to plan, you will become the proud owner of a driver's permit and will then have an opportunity to try out the driver's seat during portions of the rest of our journey.
Ruth, you are one amazing young lady! You are smart and beautiful, and you make me proud and inspire me every single day. What a privilege it is to be your mom and to watch you grow and blossom. I love you more than I can say! Happy 15th!
|Fifteen looks good on you!|