One morning in late spring, just after the sun came up, you came into this world and took your very first breath. With that first gasp of air that filled your lungs, you changed my life in ways you can, will and should never know. You have always been such a gift to me, but you are also a gift to this world. There is a common belief that profound change has to be announced with noise and glory and widespread recognition. This is so not true! A person only needs to be present in your quiet grace, and feel your steadfast determination to enlighten others on the realities that surround us all. You are a leader – you inspire and challenge people to examine themselves and their beliefs and their assumptions. Doing so leads others to open their eyes and see things for what they truly are, and that leads to positive change. Not every leader gets up on a podium. Some of history’s most influential leaders and peacemakers have never addressed a crowd. You are an old soul, already aware of the laws of this universe and wise to the ways of this society. This brings you a maturity that is such a blessing, yet in your youth, it is also a conflicted thing to be. I don’t want you to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders – other people’s choices are theirs alone. You are supposed to be rebellious, irresponsible and rude, but I only get a rare snippet of those typical teen vs. parent challenges. I’m neither bragging nor complaining – I am grateful that you carry the wisdom that lets you weigh the consequences of your choices, but I’m also strangely relieved when you do mess up now and then. It’s an assurance that you aren’t missing out on any of the teenage ‘rites-of-passage’.