Well it happened. It was inventible, of course. As much as I’d like time to slow, the years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds keep coming and you Olivia, keep getting older. You’re 16! I know I don’t have to remind you of that fact, but maybe it’s more of a reminder for me.
I’ve spent the last year watching you grow into the makings of an amazing human being. You care a lot about people and want to do good in this world. I love that about you. You are a person who sees the good not only in people, but also in life in general. Some people may call that naive, but I call it taking a glass half full approach.
Here’s a perfect example of your positive attitude. It takes a bit of explaining so bear with me. You recently took a nasty fall while snowboarding and injured your thumb.
Luckily, you didn’t break any bones, but your right thumb swelled to about three times its size and was purple, black, and blue.
It happened on the last run of the day, which if you’re going to injure yourself, is usually the case. But this really was the last run. It was the end of the day and the clock was ticking before the bus was leaving for the long ride back to the Bay Area.
As you’re apt to do, you tend to cram as many things into your life as possible, so in addition to snowboarding, you also decided to try lacrosse this year. Unfortunately, you need your right thumb to grip the lacrosse stick since you are right handed. You bemoaned this fact for a bit, but then in your optimistic way you then said, “Well, I need to improve the strength in my left arm anyway.”
I’ve got to admit, I’ve got a love hate relationship with your zeal for filling every moment of just about every day. While you procrastinate when it comes to homework, you’re all about coming up with big grand plans, be it getting together with friends, planning fundraisers, or hatching a way to get a car once you get your driver’s license. You’ve got no shortage of big ideas. Execution? Well… let’s just say you’re still a work in progress. 🙂
It wouldn’t be a 16th birthday blog without me talking a little bit about your driving. Due to all the rules and regulations and general difficulties of the California DMV, you have to wait until June until you take the test. I seriously think if you can navigate your way through all of the hoops of the DMV just to schedule your permit and driver’s test, they should automatically give you a license.
Anyway, I digress. People ask me if you’re a good driver. You’re not, but I don’t think anyone who has been driving less than six months can be considered a good driver. You are getting better though. I tend to cringe less and haven’t recently tried to brake while sitting in the passenger seat.
And… it’s been months since you’ve driven onto the front lawn. Practice may not make perfect when it comes to driving, but it sure helps.
So much has changed since I started writing these birthday blogs 9 years ago, but so much has stayed the same. I just checked back to the one I wrote when you turned 8. In it I mentioned you were a great big sister — but I also said you like bossing them around. Those things are still true, but I’d love for you to have a little more patience with them, especially your youngest sister (I can see you rolling your eyes as you read this). Friends will come and go, but sisters are forever. They know you like no one else; the good, the bad, and the ugly. With all that knowledge, they will always have your back.
As much as your sisters (and your parents for that matter) may drive you insane at times, I know you like our family time together (Even if you won’t admit it). Hearing how often your phone buzzes, chimes, beeps, and dings, you’ve got no shortage of options to hang out with your friends, which you do, but you also willingly hang out with us. I may not say it to you outright, but I don’t take that for granted.
My wish for you in this next year is to keep your optimism, even on the dark days, even when you want to give up. Those are the days when you need it most.
I love you, kiddo! Happy Sweet 16!