To Kayla: An Open Letter of Love as You Graduate

by Desiree Miller on May 23, 2017

Dear Kayla-bear,

In just a matter of days, you’ll be walking across the stage, collecting your high school diploma, the start of a new chapter in life.

And as you hurl your way into the future, I can’t help but look back.

You were just a little thing when we met. The quiet, sweet child who wrapped her tiny arms tight around my leg, reminding me immediately of a baby koala bear, and quickly earning you my special nickname of Kayla-bear, which still sticks.

I remember, as if it happened yesterday, taking you on our first trip to the beach, how your eyes lit up when your toes hit the sand, and the thrilled shrieks each time the water splashed your face.

You were the child who could be found quietly playing in the corner, happy to occupy herself on her own. But man, did you come out of your shell when your brothers would egg you on. You could easily morph from your daddy’s Princess to another one of the guys. They adored you, no doubt, but your little sister put you on a pedestal. You were—and probably always will be—her hero.

You became one of my favorite travel buddies, from dancing in the Main Street Parade with the Toy Story characters at Walt Disney World, to the top of the mountains in Colorado and North Carolina—first falling, then flying, on skis one year and a snowboard the next. From jumping on stage with me at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, to snapping a selfie while swimming with sharks, you have always been up for any adventure.

It’s been an honor to watch you grow…to see your beautiful personality explode these past few years.

Thanks for giving me a front row seat in your life.

Know that I’ll always be here, always cheering you on.

Because I believe as great as you’ve become, I still insist the world has yet to see the very best of you.

You are an artist, capable of painting each day with brilliance. Make the most of those days, Kayla-bear. Each and every one of them. And fill them full of love.

A new day

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