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For my daughter, Lauren Francesca, on her 18th birthday…

“You brought us magic since the day you were born. On your 18th birthday, we just want you to know how proud we are of you and how much we believe in you…

She was born just after the sunset
After a few hours of labor and pain
She signaled the end of our youth
And ushered in a journey beyond compare
The love showered upon her
Is a joy only a first child can know
And the wonder she evokes from those who surround her
is incomparable and always new.

When she sits and reads in silence
She traverses mountains in worlds beyond
When she dances and moves with passion
She exhibits courage and more surprises to come
When she sings a song to someone precious
You can only wish that she would sing one for you
When she shares her knowledge and reflections
You believe there is nothing she cannot do.

She is moved when a child asks for food
And reaches out in ways that she can
She marches to seek and demand justice
And rages when power is abused
She surprises with her creativity and diligence
And bring delights and magic sometimes by chance
And she will take more journeys and adventures
Because she believes and is now a woman

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