Yesterday morning I woke you with the reminder that it would be your last day as an eight year old. It made every small activity for the day seem even more important. Later your teacher told me that you held true to that notion greeting every task with "This will be my last time to do _________ as an eight year old." I love your zest for life and complete willingness to be in the spotlight. You want the world to see you and could care less what they think as long as they really see you. I hope that you keep this carefree attitude for life. It's liberating most of the time, even when I don't always know how to handle that energy.
This year you sent many family & friends reminders that it's your birthday. Don't worry, we haven't forgotten and I can't wait for the surprises ahead for you. It's all proof that you are growing up. You are growing up so fast and I can't quite believe it. I still remember so clearly watching you toddle up and down the street in front of our townhome. I remember the tears and heartache of putting you in preschool for the first time. I remember sitting on the stairs outside your room begging you to sleep. There are so many giggles, smiles, words, and moments from those early years that I hold so dear. Do you know why? Because my sweet girl, you made me a momma. You made our hearts grow so big that eventually we felt there was enough room to add in love for Hollis & Naomi too. Without you, we would have no clue how special our family could be and how much fun the world held for us.
The list of things you love is pretty long. You love reading (mostly graphic novels), horses, music (Imagine Dragons), dancing, putting on shows, being in charge, your brother and sister, Once Upon a Time (esp. Captain Hook), Good Luck Charlie, and your best friend, Sasha. You talk a lot about a boy named Jackson. You talk about working with animals when you grow up, but I also see you on the stage somewhere. You fall asleep at night listening to music on your Kindle and have begun to sleep in more and more in the morning. You wish I made french toast or waffles more.
Today you turn 9. We will celebrate with ice cream, cake, balloons, presents, and other secret things. We will tell you the story of the day you were born. We will celebrate the young girl you have become and dream about who you might be in the future.
I will spend the day in disbelief that I have a 9 year old and wonder where the time has gone. I will look at you and be so incredibly grateful that you are mine.