Lindsay White
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There is something extra special about a 21st birthday.

It really is the threshold to true adulthood. No longer are there any restrictions, guidelines, regulations or reservations. The transition to grownup is complete! And as my oldest daughter makes that final transition today I’ve been feeling very thoughtful, particularly because at the age of twenty-one I became her mom. Isn’t there a beautiful symmetry in that??

So my darling Lexi, on your 21st birthday, I have a few thoughts to offer you….


First, know that you, my darling, are my greatest achievement. Creating a person that is as kind, thoughtful, smart, funny and big-hearted as you are is and will always be, my most amazing contribution to this world.

Second, know that you are unconditionally loved. I have tears rolling down my face as I write this because my love for you is so overwhelming. No matter how old you are that will never change.

Third, know that I expect greatness from you. And I don’t mean I expect you to find the cure for cancer, or climb Mount Everest, but I do expect you to give the world your best every day. And if some days your best is just smiling at a stranger at the coffee shop that’s just perfect.

Fourth, know that you are enough. Just as you are, right this minute. You are perfect and precious and valuable and amazing.

Fifth, know that you are strong. You have already conquered more in your 21 years on this earth than many will in a lifetime, and yet there are more challenges to come. It doesn’t matter what life throws at you, you can shoulder the burden.

Sixth, know that you are resilient. There is nothing that you cannot rise from. You were born feisty and sassy, and come from a long line of women that never knew when to quit. That resilience is in you whenever you need it.

So, my darling daughter, I hope that these gifts stay with you far beyond your 21st birthday. I hope that they resonate within you for decades to come. I hope that even in those moments you don’t feel them in yourself that you can read these words and connect with their truth. And most of all, I hope that you feel and know the depth of my love for you. Happy 21st birthday.