So here we are; the family’s youngest member is now classed as a young adult in the eyes of the law (well, in Australia anyway). So you can now legally vote, drink, move out of home and perhaps even pay the bills (I say this with tremendous respect). However, in all seriousness, the baton of life is now handed over to you, and it’s your turn to run the rest of your life’s journey! Sure, I will be running behind you all the way; however, now it is your turn to make decisions for your future that will have to be run in your own direction, not the direction of us or those around you.
I still look back and find that my fondest memories are of you as a child, as you were always the one that made us laugh. Not because you tried to be funny but because you were naturally amusing without even trying. You’re over-the-top dramatic responses to things (although at times inappropriately timed) were just you in a nutshell!
You were always the kid that I worried about the most. Why? Because you were always the kid I needed to rush to the hospital in a flash, you were never the “just tripped over and skinned your knee” type of kid; you were always the “fall off a bike and get plastic surgery” type of kid, yep, dramatic in so many ways.
Although you were definitely a handful, you were always the life of the party, and it is what made you so special! You had no problem making friends in a flash; you put everything you could into everything you did! In addition, you always gave 1000% when only 100% was asked of you.
Your extreme behaviour, quirky one-liners and massive hugs are what made you; you! And for that, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. If there was a child that I couldn’t find, it was you! If there was a child that would try exotic foods, it was you! If there was a child that was indeed my hero, it was you!
Your resilience to the controversy that life brought to you makes me realise that you are a strong human being, much stronger mentally and physically than I could have ever handled at such a young age. Through all of the frustrations and setbacks, you never once complained about the cards you were dealt.
Through all of the painful visits, for all of the years that saw you sitting on the sideline to the sports you loved, never did you complain that this happened to you. You are a kind soul with a dramatic temperament and can sometimes be as stubborn as a bull.
To this, I applaud and admire you, and I am very proud of the young man you have become and continue to be. Your siblings adore you, your father admires you, and I love you more than you will ever know.
So Happy 18th birthday to the youngest member of our family. It has been 18 years of crazy extreme tactics, hundreds of hospital visits, thousands of funny comments and millions of reasons to love you.
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