Yesterday we went to your commencement, an important milestone in your life.
Today you turned 18, a beautiful young woman standing in front of the world.
Where did all the time go?
I still remember your first giggle, your first word, “more”, your soft skin, your little hand, and the first step your took with mommy and daddy cheering you on.
Forgive me for getting sentimental, but my baby girl is about to fly on her own.

When we asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, at the age of three, you answered with much pride and little hesitation, “I want to be rich!”
Today you are indeed rich, with a family that loves and adores you, surrounded by friends who share the same goals and dreams, and a bright future awaiting you.

You’ve been a perfect child any parents could have dreamed of: hardworking, fun loving, responsible, caring, sweet and beautiful from inside out.
There was hardly any teenage rebellion, or did I miss it?
You don’t just do something because everyone else is doing it.
You do it because it’s the right thing for Michelle.

Two weeks ago, you groaned that it was getting too much for you to keep up.
I told you to hang in there because there was light at the end of the tunnel,
you’d have the whole summer ahead to enjoy, relax and strengthen those bonds.
Last Friday you came home, exhausted but excited, happily declaring that you were done with high school.
Even though your sleep may have suffered, your grades didn’t.
Your high expectations of yourself sometimes get you disheartened,
but the Michelle I know will keep on dreaming, trying and reaching for the star.

Baby, I want to see you fly high and fulfill the dreams and purpose of your life.
Stay connected to your roots and always remember who you really are.
Do fly home often to your mama because I’ll be missing you every day and watching you from a distance.

Happy Birthday, my Michelle, my beautiful girl!