Dearest Maya,

Happy 18th birthday!  I hope you go into New York today and see something marvelous, or that you spend the day doing something else worthy of your awesomeness.

Wow!  You grew up fast!  This photo was taken at the Boston airport right before (or after?) you turned 2.  You and your mom had flown out to Massachusetts to stay with us, and it was one of the best, most memorable visits of my life. This was our last hug before you got on the plane.

Today, you turn 18.  Soon, you will be off to Europe and all the fun and adventures that await you there. I hope all your dreams about that move will come true.   Regardless of where you go or what you do,  you will always be our sweet little Maya.  We are tremendously proud of you and love you more than words can say.

Thank you for being a part of our lives.  We think of you every single day, and wish you all the best on the East Coast for now, and in Europe later.  The Pacific NW will never be the same without you.

Happy, happy birthday, you darling person.  You’re the best….the very best.  We are so proud of you.

With all our love forever.  And ever.