Sorry this is late, Munch! But, here's your annual birthday letter!
You turned 13 this year. THIRTEEN. I had a hard time with 10...now you're a teenager. Sometimes, I don't know what to do with myself. You're my baby, my last little bundle, my teeny-tiny...and now you're a teenager.
Clairey, you are growing into an exceptional young lady. I'm pretty certain there is not a person that knows you that doesn't adore you, that doesn't love you...and if there is, you don't give a flying crap--that's how you roll. You are 100% Clairey: Funny, loving, and brilliant. As I've said in all of your birthday letters, you are sunshine. Our friend was right when he gave you your nickname, June. You ARE June: yellow, bright, warm, happy, and glowing. You are summer.
At 13, you have your stuff together more than most adults I know. You are at gymnastics 25+ hours a week, and you are at theatre around 20 hrs per week. And you have a full load with school, on top of that. Through all of this, you are an excellent gymnast, a stellar actress, a brilliant student, and a remarkable person.
A few weeks ago, someone made a comment to you about your priorities, and it hurt your feelings, so we had a discussion about it. I asked you, "Where do your priorities lie, Munch? With gymnastics or theatre?" Your answer is one that everyone should strive to. You answered, "My priorities are with my commitments." You explained that you are committed to gymnastics--you are at your gym every single day and working hard because you want to be an elite gymnast. You explained that you're committed to theatre--you only audition for shows during your off-season of gym, and when you know the rehearsal schedule doesn't conflict with your gym schedule. You make every single rehearsal--just like you make every scheduled gym practice. And, what I think is amazing about this, is that you give each of these commitments ONE-HUNDRED percent. I don't know many adults that give anything 100%. But you work hard. You are a positive force in the gym. And you are also a positive force in the theatre. You keep shining, Clairey. Don't let anyone dim your light. Don't let anyone tell you you're not good enough. You keep giving 100% to your commitments--keep working hard and always, ALWAYS value your commitments.
I hope you always keep your light about you. I hope you always keep your fabulous sense of humor. But my biggest hope, is that you always keep your kind heart. I am exceedingly proud of you.
I clearly remember holding your hand when you were a tiny baby, and thinking, "One day, this hand will be as big as mine...I want to remember this moment forever." 13 years later, that moment seems like yesterday. Today, as much as I make the 'grossed-out' face when you grab my hand with your sweaty, calloused, often-bleeding hands, I love every moment. I love your little hand in mine. I will always hold your hand. Now, as a teenager, and forever. You are my baby.
I love you all the stars,