In every parent handbook, they warn you of the dangers: Be their parent not their friend.

Oh I understand the reasoning. The premise makes so much sense. Your child needs boundaries so that they become responsible, functioning adults. They need unyielding support as they navigate the treacherous waters of life.

But I really like her.

I want to invite her to lunch because she is as adventurous as I and finds the pleasure of trying new things so delectable.

I want to travel with her because through her eyes, I see the world in a different more beautiful way. Wide eyed and innocent with no preconceived notions, countries seem smaller and the people more approachable.

I want to sit beside her as she opens a book and learns a new fact or discovers a new interest. I see the wonders of possibilities in the slight uplift of her eyes and the tilt of her chin.

I want to be the one to tell her jokes just to listen to the tinkle of her laughter. It comes so easily and fills the space surrounding you. In that moment, you feel the weight of the world lifted and carried away.

She is charming and beautiful. She is kind and thoughtful. She is responsible and funny. She is so imperfectly perfect.

She may be my daughter but one day I hope to be her friend.

Happy 15th birthday Julianna.