May 4, 2016

My love for you is unlike any other, and as I sit here writing you a letter I can only think of how much joy you bring to my life every day. I love everything about you. I love that you want to wear jeans under a bridesmaid dress. I love that you are competitive yet kind. I love that you have friendships that will last a lifetime, and one day I hope you count me as one.

I never want the mornings to end when I am fixing your hair. I know you won’t let me do it forever, so I cherish the time now. You are a natural beauty and the fact you are unaware makes you even more beautiful.

Every day I find new reasons to be proud of you. And even if we disagree, I hope you know it’s because I care deeply about you and only want the best for you. We are blessed to have a strong family. Our lives are rich with history and stories that have been told again and again. And I know you are writing your own stories and adding amazing moments to our history.

Your independence shines through everything. And even though I am biased, I believe you will be a leader throughout your life. I know you will help others. I know you will find your place to make a difference in the world. It may not feel like it at the moment, but your life is just getting started. I am so excited to see where you go and what you do. You are a special young woman, and I am proud you are my daughter. And I hope when you read this letter, you don’t turn your nose up and think it’s too sappy. I know I embarrass you all too frequently these days. But know it’s because I am so proud that I do those annoying things.

The time between today and when you go off to college, or your next stage in life, is going to go way too fast. I hope you will let me continue to brush your hair, help pick out a fun outfit and binge watch our favorite shows.

I cherish these moments. I cherish you.

Love always,
Mom

Rawlings-Blake is the mayor of Baltimore

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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