I'm writing two letters for this day. I know, cheating. Scandal. One is for my blood siblings, the second is for my adopted little sisters.
Well, here we are, three social workers. Who would have thunk? Back when we were kids, everyone predicted JP as a stand up comedian, Mo as a journalist, and me as a teacher or a nurse. Now we're out there, lending a helping hand and a listening ear. I'm proud of all three of us, but would not have made my own life choices had it not been for the example the two of you set.
Obviously, almost all of my childoohd memories involve you two...watching Nick, playing Sega, Maureen dishing out macaroni and cheese "one scoop for YOU, two scoop for ME", road trips to Florida, backyard sports, etc. I am lucky that I can look back and see such positive memories, not only because of our parents, but because I had such amazing siblings. Of course, we've had our bumps along the way, but we've held on tight and have a special bond holding us together. I am incredibly grateful for that bond and for the support the two of you have shown me in everything I do. You may not understand my "American Idol thing" but you still support me and smile through my stories. That means the world to me.
Both of you made the decision to go into fields where you can help people, and that inspired me to do the same. I know how stressful your jobs are, but you both seem to genuinly love what you are doing, and that is something that keeps me going. I am incredibly proud of you and the impact you make on the world every day- I am confident that you touch lives because you have touched mine. Thank you.
On a final note, I am so very happy that both of you have found love- true love. You deserve it. Dave and Sara are both very lucky to have such amazing people.
I love you both dearly. Thank you for everything. You mean the world to me.
To my sweet little sisters-
I don't mean to ignore the boys that have become little brothers to me this year, but there is something that needs to be said about all my girls. You know, coming into this year I was terrfied. I had no idea what to expect, and was prepared for the worst. What I got, though, was a year that I will never forget. I owe that to you. You immediatley put your trust in me and opened your hearts. On the first day of school I had girls approaching me with their journals, asking me to read their poem. I also had to break up a fight in the girls bathroom, but we can brush aside that small detail :) But seriously...you overwhelmed me with your sense of welcoming and trust! Over the year I have gotten to know most of you very well. Some of you I even call out to saying "hey little sis!". I have loved that. I've loved hearing your stories, hearing your troubles and sitting down to help you fix them. I love the notes you give me in between classes, asking for help because you "heard I was good at that" (you'd be shocked how many I get!). I especially loved all the times you made me laugh, particularly when you could tell I was having a bad day. You opened your hearts to me, but also learned my heart- and knew exactly how to help me out!
Girls, as much as I love you, you frustrate me so much sometimes. I see you chase after the boys who probably aren't the best for you...not to say they aren't good people, but they aren't ready for a real relationship...so, in the end, you may end up getting hurt. That's the last thing I want to see. The thing is, you just keep doing it...over and over. A boy could be SO hurtful toward you, yet the second he gives you one of those looks, you're back flirting with him again. You'll learn eventually that you can't do that. It's not healthy. You are all beautiful, strong, smart young women who deserve THE BEST. So if you're not getting that, if you're not happy, then back away. Move on. Also, don't surround yourself with friends who are going to get you into trouble. Make the best choices for you. You all have amazing potential, you just have to try a little harder to reach it.
I'm going to miss you girls. Thank you again for giving me the best year of my life. I promise to come back and visit next year, and I will be thinking of you and praying for you. Smile, dream big, and work hard. Never give up, because I'll come back and kick you. Hard. The song below is one I hope you all listen to.
God Bless, Miss Carolin