13 Wishes For Our Daughter’s 17th Birthday

Dear Daughter,

It seems like just last week I was sharing, “14 Wishes For My Daughter’s 16th Birthday.

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With your 17th birthday upon us, the window is closing on your time under our roof.  Please allow me to get a few more wishes in:

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-I wish you know there are so many ways to win at high school than just grades and test scores.

-I wish you know that despite crazy college admission arms race, you do not need to know what you will major in or what you’ll be when you grow up.

-I wish you know the dating game is not a competition. First one with a boyfriend or husband doesn’t win.

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-I wish you know any boy or man who doesn’t treat you kindly, with respect, and inspire you to be your best self is not worthy of your company and certainly not worthy of your heart.

On their way to see "One Direction" concert.

On their way to see “One Direction” concert.

-I wish you always treasure your girlfriends. They are your rock, your sisters, always some of your greatest gifts.

-I wish you know that trust is everything. In your relationship with your parents, your friends, and yourself.

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-I wish you know it’s time to start paying attention to politics. You will be able to vote in the next presidential election. Good gosh, none of the candidates is perfect. But less than 100 years ago, a woman didn’t have the right to vote. There are places in the world where we still don’t.  Use it.

-I wish you know that thinking about that might make you tear up a bit like I do each time I step into a ballot booth.

-I wish you know it’s good to discuss issues with Dad and me, but you are your own person. You can vote like you believe.

-I wish you know you don’t need to know someone a long time for them to have a huge impact on your life. Oh, that’s right, you taught me that one.

-I wish you know that if getting to be a mom, meant getting to be your mom, just about every woman in the world would want to sign up. Somehow, some way, your first mom, Kerri, who was here until you were eight years old and now I, are the only two women in the world who drew that lucky card. That is why you will always be OUR daughter, not just mine.

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First Mom, Kerri.

-I wish you know that even though it feels like she left too soon, she would tell you she had the luckiest life ever, simply because she got to be your mom.

-I wish you understand why this list gets shorter each year, that it’s my way of slowly taking my hands off the reins, giving you the space and power to become the awesome woman I know you’re destined to become. I see it happening each and every day, a reminder, Hija, you are my wish come true.

The sweetness of celebrating Mother's Day.

The sweetness of celebrating Mother’s Day.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!

Your World Awaits.




Please catch my newspaper column each week in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Dayton Daily News and other Cox Newspapers across the country.



13 Wishes For Our Daughter’s 17th Birthday

by DarynKagan time to read: 2 min
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