It's hard watching you grow up and not think about this little face.
But, it happens and you grow up, with us hoping that some of what we are teaching you sticks.
We are lucky, you are a good kid with a kind heart.
Stay kind, it will take you so much further in life.
You have some good friends that hopefully will stick with you through the upcoming years.
Remember to be open to new people, the quiet ones and the crazy ones too. Treat them with respect and expect them to do the same to you.
Work hard for what you want; in the pool, classroom and in everything you do.
This isn't always the easiest way, but will pay off so much more in the end.
Failure comes with hard work. Sometimes things won't go the way you hope or plan, but there is something to learn there as well. Failing doesn't mean it's time to give up, sometimes it means to try again with a different approach.
Try new things and keep learning. Go outside of your comfort zone and push forward.
It might surprise you what you will love. Keep reading and enjoying those adventures that show you different parts of the world and ways of life.
Girls. Oh girls. This mama wants to let you know they are trouble, but that's not completely fair. Keep it fun, keep it light. Girlfriends can wait. Friends that are girls make you a more rounded person.
Stick up for your brother and be there for him. He is the only one you have.
Razz him a bit along the way as well, because you are the oldest and he probably deserved it.
Not everything is yours to do alone, ask for help. You are still young, and amazingly, don't know it all yet. It falls under the work smarter not harder part of life.
Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.
Seriously, stay up with that as it will keep your body and mind strong for years to come.
Find something you love in life, even if it's not the most lucrative. Cars, swimming, computers, design, Lego; strive to do something you can enjoy.
Help others, say please and thank you, pick up a dropped item for a stranger, hold the door, do things for others without asking. Be the example that will rub off on others.
Save your pennies. Enjoy some but keep some back for a rainy day.
Money struggles are stressful and frustrating.
Stay true to who you are and know we will always love you.