Yesterday you turned 9. Wow. Nine years ago yesterday, at a little after 5 in the morning, you came into the world. And what an impact you had, little girl.
You changed the lives of everyone around you.
For the better, I promise.
And now here you are: a funny, sometimes goofy, always brilliant, sweet little girl who tries so hard to take care of everyone around her. You'd make a great doctor or nurse someday.
Sometimes I am overwhelmed by all the things I want to teach you, all the things I want to make sure you know, that sometimes when you ask me a question I think "Oh my God, I haven't taught you that yet?! I'm behind! I'm running out of time!" There is simply, I think, too much to know.
And I know you can't learn it all from me, but some things I want to make sure you do.
So here are a few rules that you absolutely must live by. It is no way a complete list, and I'm sure by your next birthday there will be more, but it's a start.
1. A boy who is nice to you but rude to the waiter, is not a nice boy.
2. You can use black beans in almost every recipe. Always keep them in the house.
3. You may never get every part of a meal done at the same time. Stop stressing about that.
4. Don't ever share mascara, eye liner or underwear with your friends.
5. A date should get out of the car and ring the doorbell. Not text you from the car, or God forbid honk the horn when he arrives. You're a lady, not a to-go waitress at Chili's.
6. Be sweet to your brother, and he'll be the boy who's always there when some other boy breaks your heart.
7. When you're really really mad at someone, write them an email. Write it all down, read it once, take a deep breath, and then delete it. Written words never go away. Don't let your momentary hate and anger live forever in writing.
8. Just because you mean it, and just because you may be right, doesn't mean you should say it.
9. Whenever you put on a dress, bend over in front of the mirror. If it's questionable, wear leggings.
10. You have to live with your choices at the end of the day. You won't feel any better about being mean and hurtful to someone just because they deserved it.
11. If it feels wrong, it's wrong, regardless of what anyone else tries to tell you. Listen to your first initial reaction to something, not all the ways your tempted mind may try to talk you in or out of it afterward.
12. You're going to be a different person about 125 times between now and the person you end up being for the rest of your life. Remember that when choosing tattoos, life partners and credit cards with interest rates higher than 0.
13. You can get away with not showering for a day or two, or even wearing the same outfit twice without re-washing it, but you cannot, CANNOT get away with skipping deodorant and teeth brushing.
14. You can run on empty on Friday, so feel free to stay up late watching movies and eating junk food Thursday night, because you only have one more day to get through before the weekend.
15. It really is the little things in life.
16. Make it an adventure, and it will never be boring.
17. Specialize obsessively, have lots of favorite things, fall in love with stuff that no one else cares about. Just have passion. It doesn't always matter what for.
18. Change your mind, change your hair, change your clothes, go by a different name in high school, move around a lot after college. Change is good.
19. Be nice to the broken and damaged people. The ones who deserve love the least are the ones who need it the most.
20. Your mother loves you the most, remember that.
Happy 9th birthday, little one. I am SO glad you were born.