To my beautiful daughter on her 9th birthday,
It's your special day, sugar, and this birthday is extra special. Today you are nine. NINE! You're at the halfway point of your at home years. (Dear Lord, let them go slowly.) It's the last year before you hit the double-digits. And I'm sorry to say, but it's all downhill after that....
Kidding! Just kidding. All joking aside, this birthday is very special. You are now what they call a tween... defined as between a teenager and a child. I say define yourself! Don't let the media tell you how to look, act or feel. Be the best YOU that you can be.
I love that you are not yet embarrassed to kiss your mom good-bye in public or ask for a hug. I love your funny sense of humor that is witty and smart. You are incredibly smart, and I'm not just saying that either. You have good common sense and a nice work ethic. You are also very loving, generous, and thoughtful. You sure do make me proud.
I also love your sense of style! I smile each time I catch you trying on my shoes to see how close you are to sharing them with me (waaaay too close, by the way). You are creative and imaginative with your clothes and hairstyles that are uniquely you. I'm not sure how you learned to braid your hair the way that you do. You sure didn't learn how from me. That must mean you aren't afraid to try and learn new things. That will take you very far in life, my dear.
I know you have a firm grip on what is right and good. But I also know your beliefs will be challenged in the next few years. I hope and pray that you stay true to yourself. You will be confused and frustrated at times, but you have a great moral compass to guide you. And if that gets lost, you know where to find me.
I'm afraid that the next nine years will zoom by as quickly as the first nine, and soon you will be spreading your wings and flying off to your next adventure. I want you to, but I don't want you to just as much.
As you are blowing out your candles this evening and making a wish, I will be making a few wishes for you too. I wish you health and happiness, friends and family who love you and understand you, and the audacity to be yourself.
Happy birthday, Krista. I love you.