Remember when I wrote about birthdays and how they made me feel?

I can honestly say that I didn’t cherish and celebrate like I thought I could. It just wasn’t in me.

But this year, seventeen, I don’t know what has happened. I have been looking forward to #CelebratingSeventeen for weeks now. I have been counting down the days. Reminding Giggles each and every day that her birthday was coming up soon. Preparing seventeen special surprises for her special day.

I am genuinely excited about a birthday and I can honestly say that this is the first time in seventeen years that it has happened. It was like seventeen was some huge hurdle that I needed to overcome and I sort of held my breath until I got us here.

She is surfing in uncharted waters right now. When I was seventeen I was expecting her and preparing to get married and move to Orlando to be with her dad. One of her biggest concerns right is the fact that colleges keep misspelling our last name when they send her stuff and for whatever reason it makes her really really mad.

It could be worse honey, you could be Bill Clinton, Jr….embrace that people will always misspell our last name

Soon I will leave to pick her up from work and we will open up 16 special gifts (as she opened her cheesecake from Aladdin’s right after school.) Thanks Stacy!! And you know what I can’t wait.

She and I have come a long way and I couldn’t be happier with the young woman she has become. Not only am I proud to call her my daughter, but also my friend.

Happy Birthday Giggles! May your head always be smaller than mine!

And if you want a good cry, you can check out this video I made two years ago for her 15th birthday. I bawl every.single.time.

Year Fifteen from Heather Durdil on Vimeo.