I'm writing this letter because it's finally happened. In just over a week I'll be 22 at last. I'll be exactly the same age you were when you gave birth to me.
Did you imagine that I'd be living away from home? In a comitted long term relationship? Did you think that not only would I have my dream job, but would nearly be hitting the year mark since I started? No, me neither.
Did you think my life would be more like your own instead? That I'd be ready for my first child at this point? Just moving out from living with my brother for 4 years? Giving up the fun and parties, to raise a baby?
No, me neither. I think we'd both agree we're two very different people. I'm 2 inches taller, about 3 stone heavier than you at 22, baby included, with twice as many tattoos. I'm hoping my natural hair colour will last past 22, because unlike you Im not very good with hair dyes.
My idea of fun is different. To me a celebration is doing something you enjoy with people you care about, not a big night of drinking. In fact Mum, I don't really drink that much or often. It makes it difficult when that's just your way of showing you're pleased.
I know it seems dull to you but I'm genuinely thrilled about my holiday no far from home with the planned walks, challenges and local beauty. Again, very little drinking will probably happen. Sorry.
When you ask me what I want for my birthday, I usually tell you what you want to hear, because sometimes I don't like the reminder of how different we really our.
That's the wrong attitude to have. We should be celebrating our differences instead of searching for any little thing we have in common. Because let's face it, I take after my dad more than you.
Yet, there are somethings worth noting. Our shared love of books and fantasy dramas( Game of Thrones anyone?). Our general lack of enthusiasm for gardening but appreciation for the end result. Our mutual ability to hunt a great bargain.
There are some things I envy you. Your natural artistic ability. Your confidence around new people. Your ability to start a game of rounders or cards or pretty much anything out of thin air.
I don't know about you mum, hell I don't even know if you'll get to read this. I think over the past 22 years, I've given you a lot to be proud of. Of everything, I just want you to be proud that I am me.
Totally, uniquely, me.