18 years ago I willed you into being.
I know mom worked really hard to get you here, but I actually take full responsibility for your birth. When I was 5, I sat on Mamaw’s pink couch (which I don’t think I was ever supposed to be on) and asked God to bring me a little sister. I prayed for you every day.
You came into this world tough as nails and full of sass. (Seriously who potty trains themselves?) I loved you from the moment I met you. You were fearless, brave and strong. You were ready to take on the world and everyone in it. You had so many instances that could have changed you and made you weak and afraid, but you never faltered. Not once.
It has been an absolute pleasure watching you grow up. The world is a better place because you live in it. You are brilliant, beautiful and kind, with a servant’s heart and a love for The Lord. I am so proud of you. I brag to anyone who will listen of all your accomplishments, witty moments, and how beautiful you look in an evening gown. I will always accept being the Solange to your Beyoncé.
You’re preparing for a lot of big changes in the coming months so I want you to remember a few things.
Don’t be afraid to be smart. In a still male-dominated world, sometimes a woman’s intelligence can be overlooked. You are brilliant. You know this. Colleges wouldn’t continue throwing money at you to convince you to attend their school if you weren’t. Do not let anyone convince you otherwise and always continue to work hard.
Buy the dress. You are a picky shopper and even bigger money saver. Which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong. If you find something that fits you like a glove and you know you will regret leaving the store without it. BUY IT. It is ok to splurge on yourself sometimes.
Be your own person. Do not feel for one second that you have to follow in mine or mom or dad or your friend’s footsteps. Be who you want to be. Remember this even when I start buying you boocoos of turquoise clothing and start casually singing ZTA recruitment cheers in your presence in August. If you find a career path that wasn’t originally what you intended, take it. It is so important to be happy in life.
Don’t be afraid. Do not fear success, love or greatness. You deserve every wonderful thing that happens to you in life. Be a “Yes Girl.” Take every opportunity given to you with both hands. Even if it goes wrong, at least you will learn from it.
Be generous. Be generous with your time, with your love, with your life.
Finally, always remember I love you. I have a lot of titles, but being a “big sister” to you and John is my favorite. You both bring me more joy and happiness than I deserve. I am here for you always and forever for whatever your need.
Happy birthday, my sweet Char. My wish for you is to always be happy in everything you do.
All my love,