Yesterday, my daughter turned 12.
I am very proud of Aliyah. She has become a truly beautiful person, inside and out. She has a willingness to serve...a mother's heart, really. She has a desire to learn and a brilliant mind in which to store the knowledge she receives. Her artistic talent is improving, not simply because she is talented, but because she is willing to work at getting better. Her teachable spirit often manifests itself into that of a teacher. She is bold, creative, witty, fun and inquisitive. She is positive, outgoing and filled with immense energy. Her future is extremely bright.
When Heidi and I got married, I became an instant father. And, with great joy, I took Jade and Aliyah as my own. But with Heidi working and Jade in school, there were many, many...many hours with just me and my little "Willis".
Aliyah did not speak clearly, at all, for a long time. One of the phrases she did learn quickly was, "Whatchu talkin' about Willis", from the TV show Different Strokes...because I used to say it all the time to her. Hence the nickname.
Because of so much time together, she slowly became more and more like me...which is probably why she annoys me so much. We are very similar people and I think I've learned just as much from Aliyah as she has from me. She has taught me much about myself, the world...and God. Every day I am amazed at her growth emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.
Aliyah is becoming more responsible, independent and wise every day. She's maturing into a little woman...yet there is still a beautiful innocence about her. She will be in heels one day and in the sand box the next (still with the heels). May that balance never leave her.
I just wanted to give her a place in my blog, because well...she's blog worthy.
Happy 12th Birthday, Willis. I love you more than you will ever know,