Our middle daughter turned 16 today and she has been counting down the days on our refrigerator whiteboard for a while now. Even as we said goodnight last night it was with the phrase of "last goodnight as a 15 year old!" The truth is that birthdays are a big deal at our house-especially for the four lovely ladies I am blessed to share my life with. They are certainly worth honoring more than just on the anniversary of their birth, but this day in particular is special.
I don't know that I could accurately describe my Bailey (or Boo as we affectionately call her) with simple words. We often just say that Bailey is Bailey and that sums her up well. She is her own wonderfully unique young woman that loves people close to her deeply. She is soft-hearted, affectionate, and wears her emotions on her sleeve. I love everything about her and the unique bond that we share. I know that our family life would be incomplete without her wonderful smile and love. I pray daily for that big heart of hers and for God to protect her from anyone who would take advantage of her great love. It encourages me to know that her deep capacity to love also leads her to love God deeply and I pray that her devotion to Him will continue as she grows.
She asked me this morning at our traditional dad-and-daughter birthday breakfast why it is called, "Sweet 16." Even as I explained it I fell short of the real answer. The truth is that she fits that description perfectly.